Panaji: The 47th International Film Festival of India was inaugurated in Goa, today amidst festivities, glitz and joyous mood anticipating good cinema. The Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting and Urban Development, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, Shri Venkaiah Naidu, Defence Minister Shri Manohar Parrikar, Governor of Goa, Smt. Mridula Sinha, Chief Minister of Goa Shri Laxmikant Parsekar and Minister of State, AYUSH, Shri Shripad Naik were joined by Guest of Honour and Actor Sushant Singh Rajput, Shri Ajay Mittal, Secretary I&B Ministry, Shri RK Shrivastava, Chief Secretary Goa, Festival Director Shri C. Senthil Rajan, Shri Ameya Abhyankar-CEO, Entertainment Society among others, to light the ceremonial lamp.
Venkaiah Naidu presented the ‘Centenary Indian Film Personality of the Year-2016’ to legendary singer Padma Bhushan S. P. Balasubrahmanyam for his remarkable, extraordinary and exceptional journey in Indian cinema as a singer, actor and producer. He has been one of the most prolific singers of the country with over 40,000 song recordings to his credit. Speaking on the occasion, S.P. Balasubrahmanyam dedicated the Award to his mother and the Indian soldiers on the border.
Choreographed by the master choreographer, Ganesh Acharya, captivating performances at the opening ceremony celebrated the journey and contribution of women in Indian Cinema and themed as ‘Ode to a Woman’. Dance sequences featured the evolutionary journey of contribution of woman to Indian cinema as a dreamer, radical, leader, creator, fighter, challenger and game changer. Supported by projections of the life and cinema of the period on the background and numbers on stage performances presented a seamless beautiful act recreating the nostalgic memories of woman traversing changing decades.
The other celebrities attending the opening include members of the International Jury (Ivan Passer, Larry Smith, Lordan Zafranovic, Nagesh Kukunoor and Leila Kilani) and Indian Panorama jury, Nana Patekar, Mukesh Khanna, Mrinal Kulkarni, Divya Dutta, Sudheer Mishra, Nagesh Kukunoor, Prosenjit Chatterjee and Goutam Ghose.
Speaking on the occasion, Shri Venkaiah Naidu said that Cinema is a religion in India beyond boundaries and is like opium for Indian masses. Cinema by nature demands universal language, uniting people across the nation. He urged the film fraternity to make films with strong social messages and use the power of cinema for social change and enlightenment, along with entertainment.
Cho Hyun, Ambassador, Republic of Korea representing the partner country for IFFI 2016, while congratulating India and wishing success to the 47th edition of IFFI on the behalf of Korean Government and people, said that IFFI 2016 would enhance the cultural partnership between the two nations. Korea is the country-focus this year.
Chief Guest veteran film maker Ramesh Sippy of ‘Sholay’ fame felicitated internationally acclaimed Korean film director and writer, Im Kwon Taek with the prestigious ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’. Regarded as the father of Korean cinema for his long and prolific career and his work on Korean themes and subjects, Im Kwon Taek has been honoured with several national and international awards.
IFFI 2016 in collaboration with the International Council for Film, Television and Audio-visual Communication (ICFT), Paris and UNESCO would also present the ‘ICFT- UNESCO Gandhi Medal’ to a film, which reflects the ideals of peace, tolerance and non-violence.
The festival opens with the grand masterpiece of veteran Polish writer and director, late Andrzej Wajda, ‘AfterImage’. The movie is a passionate biopic about avant-garde painter Wladyslaw Strzeminski.
IFFI 2016 would also organize a special tribute section in the memory of Polish filmmaker Andrzej Wajda and Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami, both of whom passed away this year.
The 47th edition of IFFI would screen three films for specially-abled children with special audio described technology under the Accessible India Campaign/ Sugamaya Bharat Abhiyan. This screening would take place in collaboration with UNESCO and Saksham.
Inspired by the Government’s Clean India Drive, IFFI 2016 will showcase a special package of 20 award winning short films based on the Swachh Bharat theme.
The 47th edition of the festival besides showcasing films from across the globe would also bring interactive sessions, workshops and informative classes from global masters of the art in Direction, Documentary film making, Editing, Art Direction, Cinematography, VFX & Animation and Action Direction.