Thiruvananthapuram, March 20 (BPNS)
The 23rd edition of the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) that commenced on March 18th was special in that it honoured two women who had fought back in life with exemplary courage. While Kurdish filmmaker Lisa Calon was given the Spirit of Cinema award, Bhavana was given a standing ovation by the strong crowd that had thronged the Nishagandhi open-air auditorium.
Nandini Menon, a delegate for the film festival and a research scholar at Calicut University while speaking to BPNS said, “The presence of Bhavana has lifted the value of IFFK and after her name was called to light the lamp along with the Chief Minister, it was a moment of pride for every woman.”
By inviting Bhavana as a special guest to the inaugural session of the International Film Festival (IFFK ) the left government of Kerala under Pinarayi Vijayan has given a clear message to the society that the government stands with women who had suffered assault.
It may be noted that Bhavana was in the news after she came out in a television interview on the sexual ordeals she had faced by a group of men allegedly at the behest of a Malayalam film star while she was returning after a late-night shoot.
Neethu Elizabeth, a student at a private medical college in Kerala while speaking to BPNS said, “ The presence of Bhavana is an indicator that how a woman-friendly government act. This has given a strong message to all the sexual assaulters that the government would not give leniency to anyone if they raise their hands towards a woman. This has given me great confidence in the left government led by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.”
The same voice was echoed by men delegates also who are hopping from one festival venue to the other.
Mohammed Aslam, a journalist who has come all the way from North Kerala for a one-week celebration of quality movies while speaking to BPNS,” The presence of Bhavana was kept as a surprise until the Chairman of the festival and noted director Ranjith called out her name to light the lamp. The whole crowd gave her a standing ovation and this is a social message given by the left government of the state. It needs a political will and Bhavana is an epitome of courage fighting against all odds and this courage is a message to all the women and in fact the Kerala society as such.”
Almost all the delegates whom BPNS met in various venues shared the same opinion on the presence of Bhavana and of Lisa Calan and said that the Kerala film festival has given a proper directive to the nation as a whole as to how the organizers of a cultural event should act.