International film festival of India to kick off in Goa today

Panaji, Nov 20: The 44th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) will begin here today.

The 11-day cinematic extravaganza promises to be the melting pot of diverse film cultures and artistic values aiming to promote good cinema. With the presence of special guests like Rekha, Asha Bhonsle, Kamal Hassan, the star studded opening ceremony will be a window to visual treat for film lovers and critics.

True to the concept of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’(the whole world is one family), the inaugural function of the festival brings together Academy Award winning Hollywood actor and chief guest of the festival, Susan Sarandon, critically acclaimed Iranian director, producer and screen writer Majid Majidi and Polish film maker Agnieszka Holland.

The cine lovers will be treated to the presence of renowned Indian actress Waheeda Rehman who will be conferred with the first Centenary Award for Indian Film Personality of the Year 2013.

The award has been instituted to commemorate 100 years of Indian Cinema, and will be given annually to an outstanding film personality for his or her contribution to Indian cinema.

One of the best known representatives of the ‘New Wave Czech Cinema’, Jiri Menzel will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award on the occasion. His latest work, ‘Don Juans” will be the opening film of the festival.

The festival will close with a film portraying Nelson Mandela’s life journey ‘Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom’ directed by Justin Chadwick and written by William Nicholsan. Fifteen Films from around the world will vie for the coveted Golden Peacock Award.

Indian Panorama category comprises of 26 feature films and 16 non-feature films. The feature films selected in various languages include six in Malayalam, five in Bengali, five in Hindi, three in Marathi and two in English.

One film each has been selected in Konkani, Kannada, Mising, Oriya and Tamil. The non-feature film segment of the Indian Panorama will open with Kamal Swaroop’s ‘Rangabhoomi’. The non-feature films selected include five in Hindi, three each in Malyalam and English, two each in Marathi and Kashmiri and one in Kudukh.

The festival will spotlight cinema from North-East States of India. The Country Focus this year is on Japan and the segment will showcase a special package of the best that Japan has to offer.

The other regular components are competition section, cinema of the world, the foreign retrospectives and other specially curated packages to make participation a truly satisfying experience. The festival also has a special section on restored classics.

The festival will feature the best of world cinema touching upon nuances of emerging trends in the world of cinema. The confluence of cinema from all over the world at IFFI’s platform is crucial for the development of good cinema in this part of the globe. (ANI)