The 49th edition of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) opened amidst the presence of film stars, filmmakers and cine-lovers from across the world amid pomp and gaiety in Panjim, Goa. Israeli master craftsman Dan Wolman was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the opening ceremony of the 49th IFFI.
India is a land of storytellers where every person has a story to tell said Col Rajyavardhan Rathore, Union Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting at the IFFI 2018 Opening Ceremony. “These stories inspire and entertain us. IFFI is a platform for our young generation to showcase their talent. It is a platform for the international filmmakers to see India and explore the talent that we have. It is a great collaboration for both the sides.”
The opening ceremony of IFFI 2018 also saw the launch of the Web Portal of Film Facilitation Office (FFO) that was launched by Col. Rajyavardhan Rathore. The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting set up the Film Facilitation Office (FFO) in NFDC in 2015 with a view to promote and facilitate film shootings by foreign filmmakers in India, the services of which have now been extended to Indian film makers as well.
Film Offices set up by states highlight their film policy, their efforts to ensure a smooth filming process, showcase their locations and acquaint the filmmakers and the fraternity about the incentives/rebates/subsidies offered for filming in their respective states. In order to disseminate information regarding filming in India, the FFO has now developed a Web Portal. (www.ffo.gov.in).
Israeli master craftsman Dan Wolman was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the opening ceremony of the 49th IFFI. While speaking at the occasion, Mr Wolman said, “Thank you for honoring me with the Lifetime Achievement Award which is the highest award that I have ever received. It is sweeter because I am receiving it in India – a country whose people, culture and phenomenal cinema I truly admire. This year IFFI has chosen to focus on Israeli cinema. I am glad the films selected for this reflect the range of Israeli cinema. There is chemistry between India and Israel. I hope this chemistry manifests in co productions and collaborations in cinema.”
The opening ceremony of IFFI 2018 was anchored by Mandira Bedi and Amit Sadh and saw the presence of eminent Indian and international film personalities such as Akshay Kumar, Karan Johar, Randhir Kapoor, Prasoon Joshi, Julien Landais, Barbara Meier, Nicolas Hau, Lois Robbins, Siddharth Roy Kapoor, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, Robert Glinski, Tom Fitzpatrick, Poonam Dhillon, Hrishita Bhatt, Madhur Bhandarkar, Arijit Singh, Ramesh Sippy, Chin Han among others.
The 49th IFFI will showcase the best of recent International cinema, along with special sections such as Retrospectives, Masterclasses, In-Conversation sessions, Homages, Indian Panorama, International Competition, featuring the best of world cinema produced in the past year, with the aim of providing a platform for young creative minds to interact, view and learn.
The festival opened with the World Premiere of The Aspern Papers, amid the presence of the cast and crew of the film. IFFI 208 will close in similar fashion – with the World Premiere of German film, Sealed Lips.
This edition of the festival will showcase films which reflect diversity of taste. IFFI 2018 will showcase 212 films from over 68 countries which consist of 2 World Premieres, 16 Academy Award nominated films and 6 Indian rare language films. The International Competition section of IFFI 2018 will have 15 films, out of which 3 are Indian films competing for the Golden and Silver Peacock awards. The Competition section itself represents films produced and co-produced by 22 countries. The International Competition jury is headed by renowned by renowned Polish Director Robert Glinski and includes jury members such as Adrian Sitaru, Anna Ferraioli Ravel, Tom Fitzpatrick and Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra.
Akin to every year, IFFI will be featuring a Country of Focus that brings out the cinematic excellence and contributions of that particular Country. In its 49th edition of IFFI, the Country of Focus will be Israel. Ten films in collaboration with the Consulate General of Israel in Mumbai, have been selected for the country focus package.
IFFI 2018, for the first time ever, will feature a State Focus section that will focus on the films of one of the Indian States, thus shedding light on the art and culture of that particular state. Jharkhand has been selected as the State of Focus for 49th IFFI 2018 and Jharkhand Day will be celebrated on 24th November 2018 as part of the festival. Movies in the Jharkhand Package include MS Dhoni The Untold Story, Death in the Gunj, Ranchi Diary, Begum Jaan with others.
This year, IFFI has also collaborated with the International Council for Film, Audiovisual Communication (ICFT) Paris, to present a special ICFT prize consisting of the UNESCO Gandhi Medal to a film, which reflects the ideals promoted by UNESCO. This year 10 films will be showcased for selection of a film to be presented with this coveted award, out of which 2 are Indian films.
The Homage presentations at the 49th IFFI will include tributes to the late actors Sridevi, Vinod Khanna, Shashi Kapoor, M Karunanidhi and filmmaker Kalpana Lajmi.
Indian Panorama 2018 will screen both Feature & Non-Feature films in Goa at the 49th International Film Festival of India. The feature film jury selected the film OLU directed by acclaimed filmmaker Shaji N Karun as the opening feature film of Indian Panorama 2018. In the Non-Feature film category, Goa’s very own director Aditya Suhas Jambhale will present his film, Kharvas as the Opening film of Indian Panorama 2018.
The ceremony was held at the Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Indoor Stadium, Goa, and was aired live on DD National along with live streaming on the YouTube channel of PIB youtube.com/pibindia.
The opening ceremony was followed by the screening of the Opening film of IFFI 2018 – the World Premiere of The Aspern Papers, at Kala Academy.