Union Minister for Information & Broadcasting and Youth affairs & Sports, Anurag Singh Thakur said that his vision is to make India the most sought after destination for film shoots and post-production backed by the talent of our people and innovation of our industry leaders. He was inaugurating the 53rd edition of International Film Festival of India at Panaji, Goa in a star studded ceremony interspersed with inspiring speeches and scintillating performances.
“International Film Festival of India (IFFI) has become a platform for film directors from all over the world to showcase their work. I am sure, India will become a hub for co-production, post-production, film shooting, content and also for the technology partners”, said Union Minister for Information & Broadcasting and Youth affairs & Sports, Anurag Singh Thakur.
The Minister elaborated that his vision for IFFI is not limited to one event, but what IFFI should be when India celebrates its 100th year of Independence once we transition from Amrit Mahotsav to Amrit Kaal. “We aim to make India a powerhouse of content creation, especially regional cinema by scaling up regional festivals. India can be the post-production hub of the world by leveraging the immense tech talent amongst our skilled youth”, he added.
Tracing back the memory lane of Asia’s oldest film festival, Anurag Thakur said that the concept of IFFI is rooted in its theme of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’, which embodies the essence of peaceful co-existence where the world is one family. “India’s rising global role and Presidency of the G20, revolves around this theme of the ‘One Earth, One Family, One Future’ under the able leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi”, he added.
“For the first time gala premieres of Indian, global cinema, and OTTs will be held at IFFI, including the premiere of the fourth season of globally acclaimed series Fauda, which features some of the biggest Israeli stars in the world today. I would also like to share that the next season of this show will also be launched at IFFI”, the Minister said.
The Minister congratulated celebrated Spanish filmmaker Carlos Saura for winning the Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement Award this year. The Minister also announced that Indian Film Personality of the Year award will be conferred to South Indian actor Chiranjeevi. Thakur also said that this edition of IFFI will commemorate 50 years of Manipuri Cinema by showcasing a specially curated package of notable feature and non-feature Manipuri films.
Anurag Thakur also pinpointed on the importance of Film Bazaar which is being arranged on the side-lines of IFFI. “For the first time, IFFI has augmented the scope of Film Bazaar by introducing Country Pavilions. I invite you to explore over 40 Pavilions that will be showcased at the 15th edition of Film Bazaar. And for first time IFFI will have a Technology Hub to showcase the latest innovations from the cinema world,” the Minister pointed out.
Explaining the efforts made by IFFI to make it more inclusive and accessible for everyone, the Minister said that special provisions have been made for Divyangjan screenings (for specially-abled). “Keeping in mind their accessibility needs, the films in this section will be audio-visual-equipped, with embedded audio descriptions and subtitles. The Film & Television Institute of India (FTII) will be taking two special courses for the specially-abled on ‘Smartphone Film Making’ (curated for autistic individuals) and ‘Screen Acting’ (curated for wheelchair users),” he told.
Speaking on the sidelines of Red Carpet for the Opening film of IIFI 53 and World Premier of Austrian Director Dieter Berner’s film Alma and Oskar, the Minister said that every year, the festival is becoming bigger and bigger. This year there are many premieres. 280 films from more than 79 countries are being exhibited in IFFI this year. It speaks volumes about what we have done so far, he added further.
Anurag Singh Thakur noted that this is the first time, an opening film is being screened before the opening ceremony in IFFI. Every year we are trying to do something different- from 75 Young Creative Minds of Tomorrow initiative to world premieres. We look forward to more participation from international film professionals, the Minister emphasized.
Union Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting, and Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying, Dr. L. Murugan, Secretary Ministry of I & B Apurva Chandra, along with cast and crew of Alma and Oskar attended the grand screening of the movie at INOX, Panaji, Goa today.
Speaking about the delightful and festive mood created by IFFI all around, Dr. L. Murugan, said that IFFI is connecting the world. Film delegates from all over the world are participating in this festival. IFFI is taking our Indian culture to all over the world too, he added.
Giving insights about the passionate love story Alma and Oskar, the Director Dieter Berner, highlighted that the film is about a famous Viennese woman, Alma Mahler, who was beautiful and courageous, who challenged social conventions, and Oskar Kokoschka who was an avant-garde playwright and an expressionist painter. They began an affair which brought them both to the brink of self-destruction, and left traces in the history of art.