It’s the 50th year of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI). The 10-day colourful event dedicated to world and quality cinema begins on the shores of the Mandovi river in picturesque Goa on November 20.
One of the bigger film festivals around the world, IFFI’s opening ceremony will take place at the Dr Shyama Prasad Stadium, Bambolim on Wednesday. Boasting of a star-studded soiree with the likes of Amitabh Bachchan, Rajinikanth, who is also the recipient of the ICON of the Golden Jubilee award this year, and Bend It Like Beckham actor Johnathan Reyes Meyers attending the event, the opening ceremony will witness some of the biggest names in the Indian film industry in action. Bollywood filmmaker Karan Johar will host the event.
Minister of Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar and Chief Minister of Goa Pramod Sawant will also be attending the event.
Speaking at the curtain raiser press conference Pramod Sawant said that all preparations have been done at the festival venues. While elaborating the details of this year’s edition, he said, “The delegate count is 9300 with a total confirmed 7000 delegates.”
He said that 200 students from the Goa Art College have participated for the first time in the Goa Art Mile, an art installation program this year.
Among the new plans executed this year, budding filmmakers can participate in the Mini Movie Mania-Short Film Competition. Winners stand a chance to win 10 awards in the national category, while 20 at the local level. The section has received a total of 462 entries of which 352 are national and 110 at state level.
“The kind of programming done is a homogenous balance between the old narrative and the contemporary. There are some engaging Master Classes and In conversations,” said Festival Director Chaitanya Prasad.
With reference to the ease of ticketing, CEO, Entertainment Society of Goa, Amit Satija elaborated, “We have a paperless ticketing system for the first time. The details are stored in the delegate card given. If the mobile number or email is updated, the ticket details will be sent via SMS or email. The person has to show the card at venue and it will read by a barcode reader and given access. The online registration starts 48 hours prior to the screening of the movies, while counters open at 7am.”
IFFI will also honour one of French cinema’s defining faces actress Isabelle Huppert, who will be conferred the Lifetime Achievement Award at the opening ceremony. The critically acclaimed actress has appeared in more than 120 films.
IFFI 50 opening will also see a performance on the thematic of fusion music by Shankar Mahadevan and his band.
The opening day will also see the screening of Italian Film ‘Despite the Fog’ directed by Goran Paskaljevic.
With so many events lined up, IFFI50 can turn out to be bigger and better than previous years.