PANAJI: Hema Malini and Prasoon Joshi have been declared as the recipients of the Indian Film Personality of the Year Award for 2021. Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Anurag Singh Thakur announced the awards today; while preparations for the  52nd International Film Festival of India (IFFI), are in full swing here in Goa.

“I am delighted to announce the names of Ms. Hema Malini, Actor, Member of Parliament from Mathura, UP and Mr. Prasoon Joshi, Lyricist and Chairperson, CBFC as the Indian Film Personality of the Year 2021. Their contributions to the field of Indian cinema spreads over decades and their body of work has enthralled audiences across generations. They are Indian cinematic icons who are admired and respected the world over.  They shall be conferred this honour at the 52nd International Film Festival of India in Goa,” Thakur is quoted as saying in a press release by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting.

Meanwhile, a joint-press conference by Directorate of Film Festivals (DFF) and Entertainment Society of Goa (ESG) here today afternoon; put the spotlight on the key aspects of the fast-approaching IFFI.

DFF Additional Director General, Chaitanya Prasad presented an overview of various important features of the 52nd IFFI, which will be once again conducted in a hybrid format, but will be more of an offline event as compared to the 51st edition. Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav and Goa@60 are the broad themes being commemorated on the occasion.

Taking forward the power of youth, ’75 Creative Minds’ is set to provide an exciting peek into the cinema of the next generation. Also for the first time in the IFFI history – major OTT platforms like Netflix, Amazon, ZEE5India and Viacomcbs; will be in full force with masterclasses, premieres and more.

The World Panorama Section will screen 55 films from across the world, while the Festival Kaleidoscope will showcase 11 films. Twelve world premieres, seven international premieres, 26 Asia premieres and 64 India premieres are scheduled at the festival. As many as 50 films will be screened virtually.

Godavari, Me Vasantrao & Semkhor will be the Indian entries in International Competition, which will screen best of the feature length fiction films from all over the world. It is one of the most important sections of the festival that features some of the best films of the year and these 15 films compete for the Golden Peacock and other awards. Semkhor is the first Indian film made in Dimasa dialect, added Chaitanya Prasad, who also disclosed that BRICS film festival will also be conducted simultaneously.

52nd IFFI will also be paying a special tribute to Sir Sean Connery, the first actor to portray the most famous fictional British spy, James Bond on the big screen. Martin Scorsese and Istevan Szabo, meanwhile, will be presented Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement Award. They will however, not be present at the festival and will send video messages of acceptance. The International Jury, will be in attendance though.

ESG vice-chairman Subhash Phaldessai expressed confidence that the State Government body involved in the IFFI organisation, will complete all the work related to infrastructure decor in time as the recent spell of rain had affected the preparations. He also assured of provision of Covid-related protocols to be followed and overall great hospitality at the 52nd IFFI.

The nine-day film festival will be held  from November 20 – 28.


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