After a hiatus of almost five years, actress Bhavana made a stunning return to the Malayalam film industry. The actress, who recently announced that she is looking for a comeback, was the surprise guest at the opening ceremony of the International Film Festival of Kerala. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan inaugurated the event while Bhavana lit the lamp amid a thunderous cheer from the audience.

Filmmaker Ranjith, who is also the Kerala State Chalachitra Academy Chairman, introduced the actress as a 'symbol of fight.' The video of Bhavana's entry has been going viral on the social media page with Twitteratis calling as a 'goosebump' moment.

Recently, the actress opened up about the turbulent time she underwent for the past years. From being a victim to becoming a survivor is no easy journey, she said.

"For five years now, my name and my identity have been suppressed under the weight of the assault inflicted on me. Though I am not the one who had committed the crime, there have been many attempts to humiliate, silence and isolate me. But at such times I have had some who stepped forward to keep my voice alive. Now when I hear so many voices speak up for me I know that I am not alone in this fight for justice. To see justice prevail, to get wrongdoers punished and to ensure no one else goes through such an ordeal again, I shall continue this journey. For all those who are standing with me - a heartfelt thank you for your love," she wrote on her social media handle.

The actress was assaulted by a group of men while travelling from Kochi to Thrissur in February 2017. Soon after, Malayalam's top actor Dileep was named as an accused and charged with conspiracy charges. The case is still in court.

However, the actress kept her speech very simple. "I am happy to be part of 26the IFFK. I wish all the best to everyone who is creating good movies, audience and to those like Lis who fight against all the odds," she said.

Meanwhile, filmmaker Anurag Kashyap in his brief note heaped praise on the Malayalam film industry for its content-oriented films. "In a time like this in India, I make movies in Hindi, here we are distorting our history. Kerala is chronicling the times we live in, with their cinema... Today, the best of Indian cinema is coming from God's own country. It's so inspiring... Congratulations to the state for always standing up to the bullies. Thank you so much," he added.

The 7-day long event will showcase over 180 films from Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe. The festival also honoured Kurdish filmmaker Lisa Calan, who lost her legs in the ISIS attack in 2005 with the Spirit of the Cinema Award.

Kerala CM also praise Lisa Calan for fighting against state-sponsored terrorism and radical discrimination. He also added that cinema is a powerful medium that should be used for social change and development.

With Bhavana and Lisa on centre stage, IFFK was showcasing a symbol of resistance this year.