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International Film Festival of India

IFFI Invites for a Gala Show in Goa

admin   September 12, 2021

Committed to continue spreading the Joy of Cinema, the 52nd edition of International Film Festival of India invites delegates participating in Toronto Film Festival from all over the world    

The 52nd edition of International Film Festival of India (IFFI), slated to be held in a hybrid format from 20 to 28 November 2021 in Goa, looks all set to offer enthralling experience to delegates who are expected to join its physical as well as virtual segments showcasing 300+ screenings during the festival days.

Extending a warm welcome to delegates participating in Toronto Film Festival, Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Singh Thakur took to his Twitter handle recently and invited filmmakers and film enthusiasts from around the globe to be a part of IFFI in Goa.”Calling out to Filmbuffs! Delegate registration for 52nd edition of IFFI is now open! Inviting filmmakers and film enthusiasts from around the world to be a part of IFFI in Goa,” tweeted.

Among the many highlights and innovations planned during 52nd IFFI include a parallel fest dedicated to the cinema from BRICS member countries and screening of some of the best works of legendary filmmaker Satyajit Ray as part of his centenary celebrations.

“BRICS film festival to be organised along with the 52nd International Film Festival of India in Goa in November this year will be an opportunity to interact and share the best of cinema,” said Information and Broadcasting Secretary Apurva Chandra.

This year, the Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement Award has been added to the list of awards conferred upon filmmakers from across the globe to recognise their contributions to world cinema. Lifetime Achievement Award was already there and it has now been renamed after the legendary filmmaker to mark his centenary. Indian Film Personality of the Year Award, Centenary Award for best debut film of a Director, and ICFT UNESCO Gandhi Award are the names of some of the other awards, besides the Awards for International Competition that will be given away to deserving filmmakers.

A special webpage has been set up where works of Ray and different aspects of filmmaking by the maestro have been put together. As far as restoration of Ray’s films is concerned, the Directorate of Film Festivals has collaborated with people who have restored the master filmmaker’s works that would be showcased at the festival.
So far, the Directorate has received 622 films from 95 countries and selections will be unveiled shortly. This year, IFFI will feature at least 16 sections including International Competition, Festival Kaleidoscope, World Panorama, Retrospective of Masters, Country Focus, Retrospective of Lifetime Achievement Awardee, Indian Panorama among others.

To allay fears regarding spread of COVID-19 during the festival, Chaitanya Prasad, Additional Director General, Directorate of Film Festivals, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting and Festival Director of  IFFI had earlier said that IFFI team would ensure that “every guest who comes to India becomes IFFI’s responsibility the moment he steps on the Indian soil”.  

“We had created systems last year, and there is no cause of worry if International participants are landing at airports in cities like Kolkata, Mumbai or Delhi. There we have appointed teams to look after them because it is our responsibility that guests come to India hassle free, enjoy the flavor of IFFI and go back contented and satisfied,” he added.

IFFI’s theme has been “Joy of Cinema”, which is something that overrides any firewall, as the creative construct of IFFI is wired to get the best of cinema from across the world.

The preparations for the 52nd edition of the IFFI have begun in full swing and some big names in the world cinema are expected to be part of it. Being planned as a hybrid event due to Covid-19, the festival would screen films on its official digital platform along with the theatrical screenings in Goa, which is subject to the prevailing conditions.

Asia’s oldest event of its kind, IFFI still holds on to its pre-eminent position as a showcase of cinematic excellence. It has over the years witnessed numerous alterations in character, nomenclature, location, dates and duration. Through it all, it has remained steadfast in its emphasis on showcasing the diversity of Indian cinema as well as in its commitment to the celebration of excellence across moviemaking genres.

Over the past two and a half decades, several other international film festivals have sprung up across India, notably in Kolkata, Kerala and Mumbai, and they all contribute meaningfully to the collective task of taking quality cinema to people weaned principally on a staple diet of star-driven, song and dance extravaganzas. But IFFI continues to retain its preeminent position owing to its size, scope and vintage.

Not just in the Indian context but also in relation to the other major Asian film festivals, IFFI matters. And this is despite all the inevitable ups and downs that it has seen over the years.

All the other major Asian festivals – Tokyo, Busan and Shanghai – are of far more recent origin and therefore lack the history that is associated with IFFI. IFFI hands out prize money to the tune of US$ 200,000. The winner of the Golden Peacock for the best film takes home $80,000. That apart, the best director and the Special Jury Prize winner bag $30,000 each, while the two acting prizes come with a cash component of $20,000 each.

The moves to push IFFI up a few notches have unfolded since the coastal state of Goa became its permanent venue in 2004. IFFI now has a far more settled feel than ever before, with each improvement in terms of infrastructure and programming initiatives adding value to both the event and the location.

On the programming side, IFFI not only unveils the best films from around the multilingual country with the aim of providing a glimpse of the sheer range and dynamism of Indian cinema, it also puts together a remarkable slate of brand new world cinema titles.

IFFI also hosts many retrospectives, tributes, master classes and special sections, which enhance the variety and depth of the event. The master classes have emerged as a highlight of the festival, especially for film school students who converge in Goa during the ten-day event.

52nd IFFI Highlights

• IFFI will showcase around 300+ screenings during festival days
• IFFI will have various sections ranging from World Panorama, where films from across the world will be showcased, to Festival Kaleidoscope, International, Debut and ICFT Competition sections, retrospectives, homage, special screenings.
• This edition will also have Master Frames (focusing on renowned cinematographers across the world), Masters of Cinema (focusing on master filmmakers across the world), sports section, Bharat ka Amrit Mahotsav, focus on cinema from BRICS countries, Soul of Asia (focusing on the films of  Asia) as major highlights of the festival.
• IFFI will have its own virtual platform for delegates to sit back and enjoy the festival from their living rooms. The virtual platform will provide access to registered delegates to watch all the films on the platform at any given time as per their convenience, they can also access live streaming of Masterclasses and In-Conversation sessions, workshops and special events during the festival days.
• The live streaming of opening and closing ceremony can also be watched from home on virtual platform as also on social media platforms.


Future Belongs to   Independent Films

admin   February 15, 2018

Many good works in India do not get theatres because the system belongs to hardcore commercial houses. However, digital platforms have empowered filmmakers to explore new ways, believes HariViswanath

As an independent Indian filmmaker, sometimes I feel very insecure because a large number of people and a section of media believe that, in a diversified cultural mosaic like India, the audience welcome only the so-called commercial main stream films.

However, I believe that the independent films are also commercial products which are consumed by the consumers (film-goers) from the outlets (theatres). But if a commodity does not even make it to the outlets, how can you be so sure that the consumers only demand the so-called commercial big house products? I wish there was a healthy competition between these two kinds of films, so that the audience had the choiceto select their movies according to their tastes.

As far as my venture Radiopetti is concerned, I would say it’s not a complete success. I was very happy to get a world premiere in Busan and win the Best Audience Award, that too for my debut film. Apart from that, the film won four more awards at various film festivals and nine official selections. It was made available on Netflix (first Tamil film on Netflix before its theatrical release), itunes and Google Play. But all said and done, since the film didn’t get the theatrical release in its home ground, I still feel incomplete.

Being a jury at IFFI (International Film Festival of India)2017,was a very good experience. I enjoyed the cinema as an art without the barrier of language, as we got films in Indian Panorama from all the states of India. I could experience the rich culture of India and got to know how small and beautiful things are told by other fellow film directors.

My new short film is based on a concept I developed while I was working as a team leader in an IT company. In an office, so many people work for hours together and while they are there, they laugh, cry, experience humiliation, insult or get praised. Sometimes they feel that there is no one who is watching them going through all these emotions. But I thought that there is one witness – a computer monitor– that watches everything. But since it is an inanimate being, it cannot react. This thought gave me an idea, what if the monitor could talk! Based on this idea, I have made this short film in Hindi, Monitor, which is a story being told from the point of view of a computer monitor. India is the most prolific movie producer nation in the world. As part of this film production market, every independent film maker is like an isolated island. As an independent film maker, my first work was Radiopetti. It received applause at international film festivals, but shockingly I could not get a theatrical release of my film in India because of several reasons. However, after participating as a jury of Indian Panorama at IFFI last year, I found I am not the only film maker who has suffered this release issue. Many good, thought provoking artistic works could not be released in Indian theatres because the releasing system belongs to the hard core commercial houses. They make the hits and flops. So, an independent film maker, in almost every part of India, suffers in almost the same way as I did.

Our Constitution gives us the right of freedom of expression.Yes, it’s there. Although a strict certification board is there. But, if the final creation cannot reach to the audience and this becomes a phenomenon, it makes a creator unhappy and frustrated. But having said that, I also believe that good Indian cinema of the future belongs to independent film makers.

India is a huge country with a vast diversity in talent and the emerging digital world has made filmmaking easier. Now anyone can shoot using their mobile or any digital camera. In this digital era making a film could be easier, but making good quality films is quite difficult. Besides that, showing your film on the right platform to the audience is another important aspect that one needs to learn and understand.

The best thing about the emerging digital era is that filmmakers need not have to think about the traditional way of theatrical release alone. Now we have so many digital platforms (Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, etc) to showcase our films to our audience around the world.

(The writer is the maker of 2015 Tamil film Radiopetti which won widespread accolades at multiple international film festivals across the globe)