IFFI@50 A Perfect Execution

By Pickle  December 2, 2019

From meticulous planning to see a perfect execution on ground, organizing International Film Fes tival of India’s Golden Jubilee edition was never an easy task. Chaitanya Prasad, Festival Director, IFFI, shares with Pickle how the nineday cinematic extravaganza was achieved success through a laudable team effort, and sheer will to succeed in the face of challenges

Congratulations for successfully organizing the memorable IFFI Golden Jubilee edition. The films showcased here, especially the foreign films, were impressive this year. What do you have to say about this nine-day fest?

My team worked hard to come up with a programming which was on par with the standards of international film festival. We sought to offer links between old narrative of cinema and contemporary styles as far as format and filmmaking is concerned. It was a blend of cinematic excellence. We were duly advised by our Preview Committee and Steering Committee on the kind and quality of films we could have.

Due credit should also be given to my programming team who identified the master filmmakers. With this edition of IFFI, I believe that we are on the right track.

Did the execution of IFFI go according to your plans?

We tried to make the execution plan of IFFI as perfect as possible. Our objective was to ensure satisfaction of all our delegates with the kind of films that were shown; the film sections that were curated; and the kind of packages we offered at IFFI. The festival had a retrospective on Oscar-winning films and a retrospective on Golden Line of Indian Cinema completing 50 years in 2019. To help the budding filmmakers and students gain better insights into the filmmaking craft, we included Master Clases, In-Conversations and workshops with some of the brightest minds in the field. In a nutshell, we sought to ensure that the joy of making cinema, celebration of cinema continue in its various forms at IFFI 50th edition.

Festival director Chaitanya Prasad welcoming the Chief Guest of IFFI, Amitabh Bachchan
at the inaugural function of the 50th International Film Festival of India

What according to you are the three most important takeaways from the Golden Jubilee edition of IFFI?

The first takeaway that comes to my mind was that we offered people a very difficult choice to immerse themselves into the wonderful world of cinema at three different venues at the same time. To make a choice to watch a film or attend a concurrently- held Masterclass or an Inconversation session was a challenging one for the audience. The second one was the cinema packages that we had to offer including Ken Loach Retrospective, Masterframe, World Kaleidoscope, Cinema of the World, Soul of Asia, Golden Line of Indian Cinema, Oscar Retrospective, Golden Peacock Retrospective. The third takeaway would be the mesmerizing music and dance performances during the opening and closing ceremonies of the festival. Be it the fusion music given by Shankar Mahadevan; the performance by Hariharan on the theme of Ek Bharat, Shresth Bharat; or Tanushree Shankar’s dance performance – these among other things will be etched in our memory for a long time.

How has been the synergy with Entertainment Society of Goa and Directorate of Film Festivals?

When we work as partners, collaborators in progress, we rise together and sink together. Simply put, team work is an important element to make any event of IFFI’s magnitude a success. We needed to be together at all possible junctures and combine our strengths to work towards a common goal, i.e., ensuring the success of the festival.

It turned out that each one of us worked in perfect sync with one another, which was the need of the hour. It had been a perfect team work between ESG and DFF. Our Minister Mr Prakash Javadekar captained the team and led it from the front. He gave me a blueprint of IFFI’s Golden Jubilee celebrations and we worked hard 24/7 in the last six months to make it a memorable festival. Mr Amit Khare, Secretary, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, was like the Rock of Gibraltar. He ensured that our requirements were met in the best possible manner. My team has worked wonderfully. They are the ones who worked at the ground level to make IFFI a success. Everything blended very well. My role was to facilitate my team to execute the work seamlessly.

ICFT-UNESCO Fellini medal was awarded to International Film Festival of India (IFFI) on
completion of its glorious 50 years. Secretary, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting Amit Khare and Festival Director, Directorate of Film Festivals Chaitanya Prasad received the award on behalf of IFFI at the closing ceremony

Will the films shown at IFFI travel to other filmmaking centres of India?

This has been one of the suggestions. Let’s see how we take this forward.

What are some of the challenges faced by you in IFFI @50?

Some of the most challenging tasks at hand were: finding way to blend the programming together; seamless integration of different genres of cinema; making sure the opening ceremony kickstarts the festival as intended; and everything goes smoothly as per the plan and the opening ceremony becomes a memorable one. The fusion of music is not a very easy subject. It is an abstract art. It was very challenging to see how we could bring about the fusion in different segments. We have hopefully succeeded in doing it.

It was a great moment to have Amitabh Bachchan and Rajinikanth sharing the stage during the opening ceremony of IFFI. What did it mean to you?

Amitabh Bachchan was unbelievable. So was Rajinikanth ji. It is a matter of great pride that both of them accepted our invitation and were kind to attend the IFFI Golden Jubilee edition. And for us, it was like a dream come true. What else do you want from a festival than these two doyens of cinema suddenly descent on your Golden Jubilee edition and make it a roaring success. We are too humbled.

How did you manage the stress? You have been working almost 24/7 for many months…

The mantra for stress management is that if you do things systematically,
it becomes a lot easier to achieve your goals. Our meticulous planning helped a lot in dealing with the stress and gain success.

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Berlinale Co-Prod Market: 35 Films from 25 Countries

Be Part of the Pickle India Focused Toronto Edition

The Best Movies of 2001-2019 Not Streaming in OTT Platforms

Heard About Enjoy Enjaami. Here it is

Dada Saheb Award Gets Rajinikanth

MIPTV Director Lucy Smith Gives Sneak Peak of Digital MIPTV

What Buyers Expect From Digital MIPTV

China Eyes Animation Content at MIPTV

Sikkim is India’s Most Film Friendly State

National Film Awards: Sushant Singh’s Chichchore, Dhanush, Manoj Bajpayee, Kangana Among Winners

UNESCO, USO India, Toonz tie up for World Water Day Animation Creation

Virtual Pre-Cannes Screenings For Buyers Before July Physical Market

Accreditations Are Open For Cannes 2021

Stage set for Cannes from July 6. Spike Lee, Cannes Jury Head

Matchmaking Biz Accelerator At Digital MIPTV 2021

MIPTV 2021 Trend: Increasing Demand for Distribution & Co-Production

MIPTV honours A+E Networks president Paul Buccieri

Thanu For Making Producers’ Mission Possible

Mehrunisa Aims more Destinations

Delhi Photographer Sohrab Hura’s Film The Coast in Berlinale’s Forum Expanded

Berlinale Talents 2021: Nine Talents from India

Tamil Film Pebbles by Vinothraj Wins Tiger Award at Rotterdam

Re-Imagined European Film Market 2021

EFM Global Market Screenings in Tokyo, Melbourne, Sao Paulo, Mexico

Books at Berlinale 2021: 10 Books will be Pitched for Screen Adaptation

Highlights: Berlinale Series Market & Conference

Uday Shankar forms New Tech and Media Venture with James Murdoch

With Film Visa, Global Producers Can Now Shoot in India

CII Seeks Industry Status for M&E in Union Budget

51st IFFI Will Capture New Narratives in Cinema

15 Films Compete for Golden Peacock at #IFFI51

Top IFFI Picks: Another Round, Mehrunisa, Wife of A Spy

Hybrid IFFI From January 16

CII BIG PICTURE SUMMIT 2012: Growth Triggers From Ronnie

What Media Guru Amit Khanna Said in CII BIG PICTURE SUMMIT 2012

LATAM Market Ventana Sur from November 30

Blue Efficience Roped in For Ventana Sur

Films to watch @ Ventana Sur

India Rolls out Red Carpet to Foreign Filmmakers

Ramesh Sharma’s New Documentary Film on Gandhi at AFM

The Warrior Queen of Jhansi at AFM

www.cinemarket.io – Buy, Sell & Engage

Embracing Cinema Through Screens of all Sizes

Nomadland wins People’s Choice at Toronto

MIPCOM 2020 Goes Entirely Online

South Korea will be MIPCOM 2020 country of honor

India, the Window of Opportunity

Get Ready for Hybrid IFFI

Film Making Centres of India

Get Your Film Take Wings at Virtual Film Bazaar

Make at least Ten co-productions in a year

Filmmakers Should Make use of India-Canada Treaty

TIFF: The Show and Business Goes on

Navigating Toronto Film Festival and Industry

Make in India, Show the World

ads2OTT set to Launch in Oct 2020

MovieSaints to release Memories of a Forgotten War

Truth Is Dead

Submissions Open For Berlinale Co-Production Market

Gender Equality-Berlinale Eliminates Silver Bear for Best Actor and Best Actress

All3Media, A+E Networks, BBC Studios, ZDF Join MIPCOM 2020 Global UPFRONTS Lineup

NürnbergMesse’s Content India Show from October 29-31

Berlinale 2021 Will be a Physical Festival; EFM in Hybrid Format

Best of 2020: A Dazzling Dozen

Striking the Right Chord

Ishaan Khatter looking ‘beyond clouds’ with promising upcoming projects

IFFI 2020 Adopts Hybrid Online-Physical Edition

India Unbound

20 Films That Make us Believe Freedom is Priceless

Krishna Janmashtami Special

National Education Policy: Game Changer

18 Must-See Films at Venice 2020

Ayushmann Turns Athlete

Indian Trio in Venice

Blockchain: The Future is Now

Not right time to open cinema halls: Ravi Kottarakara

Meet, ERICA. AI Actor in a SCI-FI Film

Vidya Balan Set to Shine as Shakuntala Devi

Straight Answers From Alexander Shulgin

Content is king for Saregama’s Yoodlee

Nuggets From Animation Thought Leaders

NYIFF Takes Virtual Route

From The Heart Of Disney

New Model of Filmmaking in India

My Journey: How I Did It

Animation in the Age of Art & Tech

Making Filming in India More Easy

Gaurav Banerjee: Star Unveiled

FDI cap of 26% for News Aggregators Under Consideration

The Changemaker

COVID-19 has Accelerated Digital Shift Towards Across Sectors

No Business as Usual for Film Industry

What’s Wrong With our News Media Today ?

The Fire Inside Regina

Gaming Industry Braves Covid

Disney +Hotstar Leads the Disruption

Taapsee’s takes on OTT, Nepotism & Covid

Oscar Invites QUBE’s Senthil Kumar to be its Member at Large

What’s New Search Engine Neeva Can Do That Google Cannot?

The New Oscar Award Date April 25, 2021

India to Offer Incentive Package for Film Shoots and Co-Production

‘NFDC Film Bazaar Goes to Cannes’

Strings of Genius

A Ray That Still Lights The Way

Best of the Cannes Official Selection 2020 Films

Most Awaited Films of India

56 Films: Cannes Reveals 2020 Lineup

The Making of Cannes 2020 Film Selection Process

Cannes Virtual Film Market Extends Earlybird Registration to June 12

Annecy Jury Members

Take a Look at Annecy Competition Lineup

Getting Back to Business, Reveals Media Consumption Pattern

Cannes 2020 to Announce Festival Selection Lineup on June 3

20 Work in Progress Tiltles Unveiled for Goes to Cannes

Annecy VR Works Selections for Digital MIFA Market

Film Bazaar’s Work in Progress Films from India Goes to Cannes Virtual Market

Navigating Virtual Cannes Film Market 2020

Meet the Streamers: HBO Max & Quibi Keynotes at Cannes Virtual Film Market

Dedicated Cannes XR Virtual Edition from June 24-26

Screen Moms; Best Movies to Stream on Mother’s Day

Vijay Deverakonda: The Lovable ‘Rowdy’

Sai Pallavi: Natural Beauty is a Natural Actor Too

Cannes Virtual Film Market Registration Opens May 13

COVID-19: Nuggets from Netflix’s Ted Sarandos on Filming and Safety Protocols

Maitreyi Ramakrishnan is New Sensation in Netflix Original Series Never Have I Ever

Best Movies of the New Millennium Streaming Now

Best Movies of the New Millennium Streaming Now

Best Movies of the New Millennium Streaming Now

Best Movies of the New Millennium Streaming Now

Best Movies of the New Millennium Streaming Now

Annecy Unveils Virtual Film Festival and Market in June

Roskino to Host Russian Virtual Digital Content Market from June 8

27 Rishi Kapoor Films to Stream at Home Now

Virtual Nab Show Express will Take Place May 13-14, 2020

51 International Film Festival of India, Goa ( 20 -28 November, 2020)

Films to Watch in 2020

Christopher Nolan Films Tenet in Mumbai

A Call From Uttarakhand For Filmmakers Of The World

FFO Rolls Out Red Carpet For Foreign Filmmakers

INDIA@BERLINALE-Indian Cinema’s Voices Emerging

51st IFFI TO Mark Satyajit Ray’s Centenary Celebrations

Infusing Life With Dubbing AT VR Films & Studios

Sailing well in Animation Waters

Berlinale 2020: India’s Laila Aur Satt Geet Selected for ‘Encounters’ Section

Prateek Vats’ Eeb Allay Ooo! in Berlinale Panaroma

Berlinale Shorts: Ekta Mittal’s ‘Gumnaam Din’ to showcase of pain of separation

Berlinale Talents: Seven Indians Make It to the List

My Salinger Year is the Opening Film at 70th Berlinale



Berlinale Forum Celebrates Golden Jubilee in 2020

Berlinale 2020 Poster Unveiled

British Actor Jeremy Irons Will Be the Jury President of Berlinale 2020

Amit Khanna: The Renaissance Man

Fantastic Friend




10 Achievements of Amit Khanna

Reflections on Amit Khanna

Valuable Moments

India Enchants John Bailey

The Big Bachchan of Bollywood


IFFI 50 & Fantastic-Lifetime Achievement Award to Isabelle Huppert




Transforming Hollywood from pixels to voxels

Government of India committed to Safeguard IP content: Commerce Secretary

Must do Things at AFM

Why India Attracts Foreign Filmmakers

Pickle at MIPCOM 2019


Super Audio: Licensed to Thrill

Jungle Book Season 3 Ready

Issuance of VPL in India

Editor’s Note: 44th Toronto International Film Festival Pickle Sept 2019 Edition


Seven Indian Indie Filmmakers To Watch

Indian Cinema Of Today: A Culturally Responsive Artifact

Indie Resurgence

Indian Films At Toronto a Sparkling Quartet

IFFI Matters @ 50

Four Indian Films at the Toronto International Film Festival 2019

India Pavilion at Toronto International Film Market 2019

Made in Afghan Film ‘Hava, Maryam, Ayesha’ To Compete at Venice Festival

Keerthy Suresh: The Mahanati of Mahanati. Best Actress, National Film Award

Uttarakhand Bags National Award for Most Film Friendly State

66th National Film Awards Winners for 2018

Watan Adds Colour to Indian Independence Day

dream hampton and Brie Miranda Bryant to Feature in MIPCOM’S Women in Global Entertainment Lunch 2019

Making a Song and Dance of it

NFDC Invites Applications for Production of Films in Indian Languages; Deadline September 8, 2019

IFFI Calls for Entry for Indian Panorama in 50th Edition

Ease of Filming in India

Come, Film In Inida

Why TikTok wants to invest $1 billion in India?

Priyanka Chopra’s The Sky is Pink Set to Premiere in 2019 Toronto Internaitonal Film Festival’s Gala Section

Gitanjali Rao’s Animation Feature Bombay Rose to open Critics’ Week at Venice International Film Festival

76th Venice International Film Festival to Open With Hirokazu Kore-eda’s ‘The Truth’

Indian Cinema’s Soft Power Misses the Mark in Nirmala Sitharaman’s Maiden Budget Speech

Shahid’s Kabir Singh Becomes Top-Grossing Film of 2019

Finance Minister Proposes FDI Norm Relaxation in Media

Media & Entrtainment as Champion Sector Figures in the Economic Survey 2018-19

Indian Cinema’s Steady Rise on Global Stage

Glimpses of the future

IFFI Marching Towards 50th Edition

Cannes or Netflix? Is Netflix an acceptable remediation for Cannes’ decades-long little regard for Indian Cinema?

Play Small & Live Long Did Wonders for Me

Bengali Films in 2019

Pickle December 2018 IFFI Issue