15 compete for Kerala top prize


NEW DELHI -- More than 140 films from Asia, Africa and Latin America will participate in the 11th annual International Film Festival of Kerala that kicks off Friday in southern India.

The weeklong festival will be held in Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of Kerala state on India's south coast, and will see 15 films compete for the Golden Pheasant Award for best film which carries a cash prize of one million rupees ($22,000).

Participating films include "The Violin" (Mexico), "Angel's Fall" (Turkey), "Four Women Barefoot" (Argentina), "Road Under the Skies" (Uzbekistan), "Kiss Me Not On the Eyes" (Lebanon), "Whispering of the Gods" (Japan), "Fireworks Wednesday" and "The Gaze" (Iran). Indian films include "Drishtantham" (The Vision) by M.P. Sukumaran Nair and "Aadum Koothu" (Dance of Life) by T.V. Chandran, among others.

IFFK is organized by government body Kerala State Chalachitra Academy, which, for the first time, also will showcase some films in schools and hold screenings for inmates at the Thiruvananthapuram Central Jail and at some juvenile homes.