The 38th International Film Festival of India (IFFI-07) got off to a flying start today at Goa. Noted film actor Shahrukh Khan inaugurated the Festival in the august presence of Minister of Information & Broadcasting and Parliamentary Affairs, Shri P. R. Dasmunsi and Chief Minister of Goa, Shri Digambar Kamat. The inaugural lamp was lit with the assistance of Priyamani, the rising star of south.
In his remarks, Shahrukh Khan said, this premier event is a pride of the nation. Recognizing the contribution of the ordinary man in raising the popularity of cinema, he said ‘lets dedicate 38th IFFI to ordinary people.’ Mr. Khan said, cinema provides people independence from loneliness and a perceived bond with the celluloid characters. This enlivens the dreams and a course to look up to. He said, through the medium of cinema we try to reach out to others crossing cultural barriers.
Shri Dasmunsi in his remarks announced the Government decision to confer life time achievement award on the veteran actor Dilip Kumar. Melody queen, Lata Mangeshkar will be conferred with the life time achievement award for film songs. Shri Dasmunsi said that in the present era of technological innovations, a new vision is needed to ensure its fruition for the benefit of commoners. Affordable cinema for the huge mass of film lovers in the country should be ensured by harnessing new technology. Indian film legends like Raj Kapoor, Amitabh Bachchan and Shahrukh Khan have been the true cultural ambassadors of India commanding worldwide following. He described Shahrukh Khan as a true icon of Indian youth and sports.
The Minister said that the committee set up to suggest measures to tackle piracy in the film sector has since submitted its report and the Government is likely to finalize its view on Optical Disc laws for this purpose by December end. Shri Dasmunsi said that improved infrastructure in Goa is necessary to ensure its position as a desired destination. Continuing as a venue for IFFI, Goa should be able to grow up as an ultimate brand, he added.
Chief Minister of Goa, Shri Kamat said that with the fourth consecutive IFFI, Goa has proved that it can successfully host events of this magnitude. Each year we have made improvements but for such events do take time to settle down, he said. Shri Kamat felt that brand IFFI would make Goa a sought after destination for foreign as well as Indian film makers.
Secretary (I&B), Smt. Asha Swarup, Chief Secretary, Goa, Shri J. P. Singh, Panjim Mayor, Mr. Tony Rodrigues, Festival Director, Smt. Neelam Kapur and prominent film personalities were among those present.
Romanian film ‘4 months, 3 weeks & 2 days’ was screened as the opening film. The Director of the opening film Mr. Cristian Mungiu and the main actress, Anamaria Marinca were felicitated at the inaugural ceremony. Foreign delegates from Netherlands, China, Poland and Mexico were also present.
Around 200 films will be screened during the 11-day Festival. The Cinema of the World Section will feature a choice of year’s best international cinema. This section will have 76 films from 42 countries. A specialized competition for feature films by Asian, African and Latin American Directors is being organized. Under this section, fourteen films from 13 countries have been selected for the competition.
Hungary will be in focus under the section ‘Country Focus’. Seven films “Black Brush’ (Director: Roland Vranik), ‘Dealer’ (Director: Benedek Fliegauf), ‘Eastern Sugar’ (Director: Ferenc Torok), ‘Hukkle’ (Director: Gyorgy Palfi), ‘Temptations’ (Director: Zoltan Kamondi), ‘The Porcelain Doll’ (Director: Peter Gardos) and ‘Vagabond’ (Director: Gyorgy Szomjas).
In ‘Film India Worldwide’ category, three films ‘AIDS Jaago’ (Mira Nair), ‘Amal’ (Richie Mehta) and ‘The Pool’ (Chris Smith). Retrospective of Ingmar Bergman would feature seven of his highly acclaimed films, namely, ‘Autumn Sonata’, ‘Fanny and Alexander’, ‘The Seventh Seal’, ‘The Virgin Spring’, ‘Through a Glass Darkly’, ‘Shame’, and ‘Wild Strawberries’.
Indian Panorama at IFFI – 2007 would present a bouquet of 36 films, 21 features and 15 non-feature films. The package is a mixed bag with stalwarts like Budhadeb Dasgupta and Adoor Gopalakrishnan presenting two films each. The section would have Ami Iyasin Aar Amaar Madhubala (The Voueurs- Feature) and Naushad Ali- the Melody continues (Non Feature) by Budhadeb Dasgupta and Naalu Penunungal (Four Women- Feature) and The Dance of the Enchantress (Non Feature) by Adoor Gopalakrishnan.
The debut directors like Sameer Hanchante, Samir Chanda, and Bhavna Talwar would present their films Gafla (Scam), Ek Nadir Galpo (Tale of a river), and Dharm respectively at the festival. A special section celebrating 60 years of India’s independence, India @ 60, would showcase seven patriotic films including three feature and four documentaries.
IFFI also features a Film Bazaar for films from India as well as large number of foreign countries, seminars, discussions and press conferences, IFFI Goa film treasures (a section dedicated to international film heritage) and special Festival publications on the films being screened. Theatre facilities for IFFI – 2007 have been significantly upgraded. Nine theatres with a total seating capacity of 3026 would be part of the Festival complex as compared to five theatres with a total seating capacity of 2200 last year.
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