Special Service and Features18-November, 2013 17:54 IST
44th International Film Festival of India at Goa

FEATURE

 

  FEATURE

IFFI


 

Dr. H. R. Keshavamurthy*

 

The International Film Festival of India (IFFI) is one of the most significant film festivals in Asia, held every year. It aims at providing a common platform for the cinemas of the world to project the excellence of the film art, contributing to the understanding and appreciation of film cultures of different nations in the context of their social and cultural ethos, and promoting friendship and cooperation among people of the world.

 

History

The first edition of IFFI was organized by the Films Division, Government of India at Mumbai 1952. In all, it had about 40 features and 100 short films. The festival was subsequently taken to Chennai, Delhi & Kolkata. The festival was non-competitive in nature and 24 countries participated. The main festival which opened in Mumbai was inaugurated by Shri K.K. Diwaker, Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting. The Delhi session was inaugurated by Prime Minster Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru on February 21, 1952.

            Since its beginnings in 1952 the IFFI has been the biggest event of its type in India. Subsequent IFFIs were held in New Delhi. From the 3rd edition in January 1965, IFFI became competitive. It was then moved to Trivandrum, capital of Kerala. In 1975 the Filmotsav, non-competitive and to be held in other filmmaking cities in alternate years, was introduced. Later, Filmotsavs were merged in IFFI. In 2004 the IFFI was moved to Goa from Trivandrum. Since then IFFI has been an annual event and competitive.

IFFI, 2013

44th edition of IFFI beginning from 20th November, 2013 will end on 30th, November. Organized by the IFFI Secretariat under the aegis of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in collaboration with the Government of Goa, the festival brings cinema from around the world to the country and presents a boutique of contemporary and classic cinema from India to the World. A variety of film screening Programmes, academic sessions and cultural exchange programmes will mark the occasion. Around 160 foreign films are to be showcased in this edition under various categories.         

44th edition of IFFI is unique on several accounts. For the first time two international film personalities, Hollywood actress Susan Sarandon and acclaimed Iranian Filmmaker Majid Majidi will share the stage at the opening ceremony. For the first time films on Nobel Prize winners, namely, Nelson Mandela and Lech Walesa would be screened. For the first time a film on India’s great freedom struggle leader Basha Khan and a film produced and directed by an Afghan Director would be screened. Hollywood actress Ms Michelle Yeoh would be the Chief Guest at the closing ceremony of the festival. The festival would highlight for the first time Cinema from the North Eastern States of India. A Package of 19 films from the North-East will explore the immense ethnic, traditional and cultural diversity in the eight states of North-East.

The Life Time Achievement Award is being conferred on the legendary Czech Film Director, Mr. Jiri Menzel whose films have been acknowledged as the Czech New Wave Cinema. The 44th IFFI will showcase Japanese films in the country focus section.  Czech comedy ‘The Don Juans’ directed by Jiri Menzel will open the 44th International Film Festival of India.  The Closing Film, ‘Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom’, directed by Justin Chadwick  is a biographical film about anti-apartheid revolutionary and former South African President Nelson.

 

Indian Panorama

 

            Indian Panorama category comprises of 26 feature films and 16 non-feature films from contemporary Indian cinema. Legendary actor Manoj Kumar will officially flag off Indian Panorama 2013 during the inaugural ceremony. The jury for Feature films headed by renowned filmmaker and editor Shri B. Lenin have selected 25 films out of a total of 210 eligible entries. Hindi film Pan Singh Tomar which won Best Feature Film award at the recent 60th National Film Awards is the 26th film of Indian Panorama, by virtue of direct entry. The Feature Film Jury has chosen Kanyaka Talkies (Malayalam, Director: K. R. Manoj) as the Opening Film of Indian Panorama 2013. In the feature films category films selected are 6 in Malayalam, 5 in Bengali, 5 in Hindi, 3 in Marathi and 2 in English. One film each have been selected in Konkani, Kannada, Mising, Oriya and Tamil

 

The Non-Feature films Jury chaired by well-known director Shri Raja Sen has picked 15 films out of 130 eligible entries. Kashmiri film Shepherds of Paradise (Director : Shri Raja Shabir Khan) which won Best Non - Feature Film award at the recent 60th National Film Awards is the 16th film of Indian Panorama, by virtue of direct entry. In the Non-Feature Film category, Rangabhoomi (Hindi, Director : Kamal Swaroop) is the Opening film. In the non-feature films category, five are in Hindi, three in Malayalam, three in English, two in Marathi, two in Kashmiri and one in Kudukh.

The 2013 IFFI pays tributes to epoch making filmmakers Manoj Kumar, Buddhadeb Dasgupta and S. Shankar and three films of the Masters’ choice are screened for fans.

Awards 

           16 films from around the world will vie for the coveted Peacock Awards at the 44th IFFI. Best Film will get a Cash prize of Rs. 40 lakhs to be shared equally between the Director and Producer and the Director will be given the Golden Peacock and a certificate in addition to the cash component. Silver Peacock, Certificate and a cash prize of Rs. 15 lakhs will go to the Best Director, while Best Actors (Male) and (Female) will get Silver Peacock, Certificate and a cash prize of Rs.10 lakhs. Special Jury Award given to a film (for any aspect of the film which the jury wishes to award/acknowledge) or an individual (for his/her artistic contribution to a film) will have Silver Peacock, Certificate and a cash prize of Rs. 15 lakhs.

The prestigious Life Time Achievement Award consisting of a cash prize of Rs. 10 lakhs, certificate, shawl and a scroll, is conferred upon a master film maker for his/her outstanding contribution to cinema. Legendary Czech Film Director, Mr. Jiri Menzel is the recipient this year. Centenary Award Silver Peacock, certificate and cash prize of Rs.10 lakhs will be given to a feature film that reflects a new paradigm in motion pictures in terms of aesthetic, technique or technological innovation.

Centenary Year of Indian Cinema

          This year happens to be the 100th year of Indian Cinema and the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting has taken special initiatives to promote the growth of the film industry, on this occasion. To mention a few, it constituted the Mudgal Committee to review the provisions of the Cinematograph Act and the recommendations of the Committee are under consideration. The Ministry has also proactively pursued the establishment of the Single Window Clearance Mechanism to ensure that the film makers faced no difficulty in seeking permissions within the country. The objective was to ensure the smooth implementation of the Standard Operating Procedure. As part of the initiative to promote cinema, the National Film Heritage Mission had been mooted to ensure that the rich cultural heritage of the industry is preserved. Recently it announced the institution of the Centenary award to be given every year to an outstanding Indian film personality, “A Film Icon” for his/her contribution to Indian Cinema at IFFI.


 Conclusion

 

             Film Festivals are an assembly of people and nations where the world’s greatest film artistes hold hands with emerging talents on an equal footing. It is also a forum for film professionals to communicate face to face with film lovers around the world. IFFI aims to nurture, encourage and inspire Indian cinema and introduce it to the world outside as well as the many audiences that coexist in this vast and diverse country. With rapid technology changes, the importance of this festival will only grow as it will bring viewers and filmmakers together and expose them to emerging technologies and the challenge of the emerging new media. New interactions are envisaged; new strategies would be formulated so that with each edition of the IFFI, the viewing experience is enhanced, enlarged and enriched.

 

(PIB Features.)

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*Director (M&C), Press Information Bureau, Kolkata.

SS-116/SF-116/18-11-2013

 

RTS/HSN


(Release ID :100683)