The 14th edition of the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) will start here Friday and acclaimed filmmaker Mrinal Sen will inaugurate it by lighting the lamp.
Sen will also be honoured with the Life Time Achievement award instituted for the first time by the IFFK.
The festival is jointly organised by the state-run Kerala State Chalachitra Academy and the ministry of culture.
Speaking to IANS, academy chairman K.R. Mohanan said the basic structure of the festival remains the same but "this time there are special sections of Cuban, French and African films. Another highlight is that the seats can be reserved through SMS."
During the eight-day festival, 164 films in 11 categories will be screened.
"In all, there will be more than 500 shows and this time we are expecting more than 8,000 people to take part in the festival," said Mohanan.
In the competition section, 14 films will be screened which includes two Malayalam movies. The best film will bag a prize of Rs.1 million.
Acclaimed Iranian filmmaker Bahman Ghobadi is the chairperson of the jury this year.
Actress Sharmila Tagore and French Ambassador Jerome Bonnafont will be the chief guests at the inaugural function. Oscar winning sound editor and designer Resul Pookutty will also be honoured at the opening ceremony.
IFFK will pay homage to the veteran Malayalam artistes Murali, Adoor Bhavani and Rajan P. Dev who passed away this year.