Setting alight the shores of Goa, the 54th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) is all set to begin tomorrow at Panaji with a gala opening ceremony. Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Anurag Thakur will inaugurate the event at Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Indoor Stadium.
The Minister will felicitate the film-makers and cast of the opening film at INOX Complex. He will also inaugurate the Film Bazaar on the sidelines of IFFI 54. The Film Bazaar is South Asia’s largest global film market organised by National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) alongside IFFI every year, supporting and showcasing the South Asian content and talent in film-making, production and distribution. It also facilitates the promotion of world cinema in the south Asian region.
The Opening Ceremony will showcase performances by Bollywood superstars Madhuri Dixit and Shahid Kapoor. Bollywood stars Shriya Saran, Nushratt Bharucha, Pankaj Tripathi, Shantanu Moitra, Shreya Ghoshal and Sukhwinder Singh will also perform in the opening ceremony. The Festival would be graced by eminent personalities from the film industry Catherine Zeta Jones, Salman Khan, Vidya Balan, Ayushmann Khurrana, Anupam Kher, Vicky Kaushal, Siddharth Malhotra, Aditi Rao Hydari, AR Rahman, Amit Trivedi, among other celebrated actors, singers and film-makers.
The nine-day film festival, showcasing an eclectic array of world cinema to the audiences worldwide, will kick-start with the international premiere of Catching Dust, by award-winning British filmmaker Stuart Gatt.
Earlier, conveying his wishes to the film festival, Anurag Thakur had said that in an age where technology continues to reshape the way we consume content, film festivals remain a testament to the enduring appeal of cinematic experience. He said, ‘’IFFI has become a perfect platform for establishing collaborations, joint productions and cutting–edge technology and IFFI has been growing every year due to the passion of our film makers and collaborations with directors and film makers’’.
This year, IFFI has received an overwhelming response. A total of 2926 entries from 105 countries were received, which is three times more international submissions than last year. During the nine day festival, more than 270 films will be showcased at 4 venues of the festival. 13 World Premieres, 18 International Premieres, 62 Asia Premiers and 89 India Premieres will be screened during the festival. A total of 32 entries have been received in 10 languages from 15 OTT platforms for Best Web Series (OTT) Award. 15 feature films (12 International films and 3 Indian films) will compete for the coveted Golden Peacock award this year.
To highlight the importance of documentary film making, a Docu-Montage section has also been introduced this year. Besides this, Seven International films and three Indian films that reflect the ideals of UNESCO will also be featured in ICFT UNESCO Gandhi medal award session during the festival.
As a testament to its commitment to nurturing emerging talent, IFFI will also host masterclasses, workshops, and panel discussions conducted by renowned industry stalwarts. More than 20 leading companies will hold professional master classes and a Talent Camp for the 75 Creative Minds of Tomorrow (CMOT) candidates during the festival.
The NFDC Film Bazaar will exhibit a VFX & Tech Pavilion, introducing Documentary & Non-Feature Projects/Films, the Knowledge Series and Book to Box Office. A novel initiative of a Restored Classics section will feature seven world premieres of the world class restorations done by NFDC-NFAI under the National Film Heritage Mission (NFHM) from the damaged celluloid reels of the Indian Classics. Three international films restored under the mission will also be screened during the festival.
An exhibition with immersive visual content has also been set up by the Central Bureau of Communication, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India. The cine enthusiasts will also learn about films through interactive displays. Entry is free for all. Besides this, Open Air Screenings will also be held for the public at three locations along with initiatives such as Caravans, Shigmotsav, Goa Carnival, Selfie points, IFFI Merchandise and others.
Elaborate arrangements have been made for specially-abled festival delegates to access venues and screenings. Embedded audio for visually impaired and embedded Sign Language will also be made available. Besides this, Indian Panorama Films dubbed in various languages will also be screened.
The opening ceremony will be telecast LIVE on Doordarshan. Viacom Media Pvt. Ltd. is the exclusive media and broadcasting partner for cultural performances at the opening and closing ceremonies and would broadcast the ceremonies on COLORS TV channel and its OTT platform JioCinema.