ITFoK 2016 brings together tales of our bodies that wage and witness wars; bodies that are waiting, seeking refuge; bodies that are excluded; bodies that are buried, burnt alive, suffocated bodies; bodies that subject to gendered violence; bodies that are split apart and destroyed; bodies that do not fit within the bounds of race, caste, colour, and gender; and women's bodies that continue to be the battleground for man's sexual, social and political wars. The festival opens with legendary choreographer Chandralekha's last creation Sharira (The Body) and ends with Mallika Taneja's award winning Thoda Dhyaan Se (Be Careful). In this journey, I hope to explore the multiple interpretations of Body, Political, and Body Political over seven days and twenty performances, what I imagine to be a large play with seven acts and twenty scenes.
The ITFoK not only focus on showcasing contemporary theatre, but provides a platform for other folk and traditional theatre forms of Kerala and other parts of the country, for the advantage of the visiting groups from abroad in particular. The groups/artists are put into active and creative interactions each other, which lead to certain level of share and exchange of experience and a fair knowledge of these forms. Seminars, workshops and exposition sessions by eminent theatre practitioners and academicians, exhibitions, screening of films etc are the vital components of the festival. The interactive sessions for theatre practitioners, with visiting directors on their play making process, design methods, and actors’ training systems provide deep insight and understanding of their theatre. Curetted with an understanding of various performance streams and practices with a broader perspective on cultural history of the land, ITFoK has carved a niche in theatre festivals of the country. ITFoK provides a true interactive space occupied by a variety of spectators from various walks of life and culture, thus inspiring creative and meaningful artistic interaction.
Held from 27 January to 3 February 2014, the 6th edition focused on “Transition” with performances from around the world including France, Poland, Italy, Norway, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Iran, and Sri Lanka. Also, in response to the heinous rapes and atrocities against women, children, transsexuals and homosexuals in India and else where this edition also had a section of productions which deal with the issue of "Gender".
Fifth ITFoK focused on contemporary theatre from Europe plus a few innovative and experimental works from India. This edition showcased a handful of works that rewrites the classic texts ,another bunch of totally new ,devised performances and plays that explore the realms of physical,musical and dance theatre.Also a cross section of contemporary Indian theatre was included to represent the varied streams of theatre happening in different parts of the country.Solo performances had also a prominent place in this edition.
The 4th International Theatre Festival of Kerala (1 to 8 February 2012) has recaptured the imagination of theatre lovers from India and abroad and marked itself as one of the most prominent theatre festivals of South East Asia. ITFoK, being a long cherished dream of theatre activists of Kerala, blossomed into a vibrant annual event under the Ministry of Culture, and Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi.
Inaugurated by four senior veteran artists Padmabhusahan Kalamadalam Ramankutty Nair, M.V. Devan, Parassala B Ponnammal and Thrippekkulam Achutha Marar on the pleasant evening of 1st February, 4th ITFoK explored wide and diversified horizon of world theatre with special focus on Masters of the past and present. Most contemporary works from Poland, Italy, Lithuania, England, and some of the cutting edge productions from India ignited the imagination and teased the sensibility of unique combination of diversified tastes and cultural ethnicity of the festival crowd, probably a rare phenomenon. ITFoK 2010 hosted 16 productions, 250 artists and several hundred academicians/observers. The festival witnessed a spectatorship of approximately 60,000.
The 3rd International Theatre Festival of Kerala (22 to 31 December 2010) has recaptured the imagination of theatre lovers from India and abroad and marked itself as one of the most prominent theatre festivals of South East Asia. ITFoK, being a long cherished dream of theatre activists of Kerala, blossomed into a vibrant annual event under the Ministry of Culture, and Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi.
Inaugurated by Padmabhushan Girish Karnad, on 22nd December, the festival explored wide and diversified horizon of world theatre with special focus on theatre from Latin American countries. Most contemporary works from Chile, Brazil, Columbia, Bolivia, Mexico, Cuba, Spain, Japan and England ignited the imagination and teased the sensibility of unique combination of diversified tastes and cultural ethnicity of the festival crowd, probably a rare phenomenon. ITFoK 2010 hosted 35 productions, 750 artists and several hundred academicians/observers. The festival witnessed a spectatorship of approximately 60,000. Two commissioned productions one with Latin American artistes and other one between School of Drama, Thrissur (Calicut University) and Casa de la India - Spain were the special events of the festival.
Ammannur Puraskaram, award introduced by Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi, for lifetime achievements in Indian Theatre was conferred on legendary Indian thespian, Badal Sircar (1925-2011)
Held from December 20 to 29, 2009, ITFoK '09 inaugurated by Padmabhushan Naziruddin Shah, was an exposition of Afro-Asian theatre panorama. Conceived on the same lines of the previous festival, it provided a rare opportunity to showcase the Afro-Asian cultural diversity, thanks to the increasing participation and attendance of theatre lovers also from neighboring states, such as Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra, and also Maharashtra in the second edition, which proved that the popularity of the festival was soaring tremendously even outside Kerala. International panorama featured plays form South Africa, Kenya and Pakistan, several outstanding plays of contemporary Indian directors were showcased the in the event.
Held from December 22 to 31, 2008, ITFoK '08 was the first edition of the festival that focused on Asian theatre. Opened with a spectacular show of Chinese Opera, the festival showcased National and Malayalam panorama; and plays from SAARC It turned out to be highly productive as was experienced not only through the performances but also through the seminars and interactive sessions and exhibitions. Theatre activists across the country descended on Thrissur in droves. The temporary auditorium in which the evening shows were held was inundated by theatre lovers of all hues. Not only the venue of festival, but the entire city of Thrissur wore a festive look for Plays from China, Iran, Pakistan, Srilanka, Bangladesh, and Nepal along with other plays from the country were part of the maiden edition of the event.