Federation of Film Societies of India
The Federation of Film Societies of India is the apex body coordinating the activities of Film Societies in India. The founder President of FFSI was Shri. Satyajit Ray. The FFSI has 5 regional councils: (1) Western Region (2) Northern Region (3) Eastern Region (4) Southern Region and (5) Kerala Sub Region.
Federation of Film Societies of India, Kerala Region.
The first film society in Kerala was formed on July 21, 1965 with the inauguration of Chirttalekha film society in Thiruvananthapuram under the leadership of Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Kulathoor Bhaskaran Nair, KP Kumaran and Sreevaraham Balakrishnan. With the initiative of Adoor Gopalakrishnan many film festivals were organized in many districts.These film festivals introduced serious art cinema to the Kerala public and inspired many youngsters to form film societies in different parts of Kerala. Like the Library Movement that opened the doors of world literature to the public, film societies did the same with regard to films from all over the world, triggering new thinking and writing about cinema. The 1970’s and 80’s saw the emergence of a new group of film critics and writers who were part of the film society movement, who gradually developed a rich vocabulary and ideological tools for film criticism in Malayalam. The film societies also organized many film appreciation camps, film workshops, seminars and festivals across Kerala. In the 1970’s there were more than 100 film societies in Kerala, which by the end of 1980’s began to decline with the coming to television and the popularity of VHS technology. But by the middle of 1990’s saw a re-emergence of the movement, with the number of film societies gradually increasing, and several defunct societies becoming active again. The digital technology facilitated the spread of the movement to a great extent, with films becoming available very easily and affordably. It was the result of such consistent and widespread activities of film societies that led to the formation of a film academy – Kerala State Chalachitra Academy – at the State level, and the establishment of International Film Festival of Kerala.
Meanwhile, FFSI in Kerala expanded its activities to start a national level competitive film festival for short films and documentaries called SiGNS Film Festival in 2005 for JOHN ABRAHAM Awards.
JOHN ABRAHAM Award for the best Malayalam cinema also instituted by the FFSI.
More than 25 regional film festivals are organized by the film societies with the support of FFSIKeralam
More than 125 film societies are there in Kerala
Open Forum – an open platform for interaction between filmmakers and cineastes – was first conceived and organized by FFSI in 1988 when the International Film Festival of India came to Thiruvananthapuram. The idea was accepted by the film community and it became a regular feature at IFFI elsewhere and also at IFFK every year.
At the initiative of the Federation, with the cooperation of the Kerala State Chalachitra Academy, it organised a faculty workshop for preparing the syllabus and study modules so that it can be used in the film study camps. At the end of the discussion in the faculty workshop where more than 25 members consisting of critics, teachers and film technocrats participated, a decision was taken to include a wide range of study subjects and comprehensive modules. Small groups and individuals were entrusted with expanding the existing study subjects and preparing modules.
In the coming years, FFSI-Kerala intends to extend its activities by organizing film appreciation, research and education programmes in association with the Chalachitra Academy, universities, other academies of art, colleges and schools. FFSI also intends to revive its publication Drisyatalam and develop it into a serious film journal. The FFSI is planning to associate with the Library movement and other cultural organizations in Kerala to create a network of film clubs all over Kerala and now it is giving results.