SiGNS, the pioneering festival in India for digital videos featuring national level competition for documentaries and short fiction is back. The latest edition of the festival, will get under way at St Teresa’s College in Kochi from October 21 to October 25, 2015.

Besides the competition section for documentaries and short films with the winners taking away the prestigious John Abraham National Awards.  John Abraham Awards was instituted in 1999 by the Kerala Region of Federation of Film Societies of India in memory of JOHN ABRAHAM, who was the guiding spirit behind radical initiatives for people’s cinema. From 2005, the competition was extended to the national level, and the festival renamed as SiGNS, with a focus on documentary and short films in video format.

This year the festival features over 150 films as part of several packages. There will be ‘Cinema of Resistance’ under which will be screened landmark documentaries about issues relating to freedom and democracy in post-Independence India and ‘Cinema of Performance’ with 14 films on various art forms, traditions and performers . Films by eminent filmmakers like Satyajit Ray, Ador Gopalakrishnan, Shyam Benegal, Buddhadev Dasgupta and Arun Khopkar are part of the package.

Chairman of Asian School of Journalism Sasikumar will inaugurate the festival. Nangiar Koothu exponent Usha Nangyar will inaugurate the package of the ‘Cinema of Performance’ and Writer N.S. Madhavan will deliver John Abraham memorial speech. Seminars, debates with film personalities and talks will be held as part of the festival.

Interesting feature of the festival is that it has an all women jury comprising of Deepa Dhanraj, documentary filmmaker based in Bangalore; Gitanjali Rao, animation filmmaker whose film bagged the honours at the Cannes; and Fowsia Fathima, a well known cinematographer.