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IFFI 2020 Adopts Hybrid Online-Physical Edition

admin   August 18, 2020

Directorate of Film Festival has initiated the process for receiving entries from producers and sales agents for Indian Panorama Section and International Competition Section for the 51st International Film Festival of India to be held from November 20-28, 2020 in Goa

As COVID-19 continues to reshape film festival calendar across the world, the International Film Festival of India is adopting a hybrid online-physical model for its 51st edition to be held from November 20-28, 2020 in Goa. IFFI 2020 will take place with socially distanced screenings (limited physical), digital screenings, and the entire knowledge series, open forum and masterclasses in virtual format.

The Directorate of Film Festival has initiated the process for receiving entries from producers and sales agents for Indian Panorama Section and International Competition Section of the 51st edition of IFFI, with some changes in the regulations. (log on to www.dff.nic.in for entry forms and IFFI 2020 Regulations).

IFFI is organised by the Directorate of Film Festival under the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Government of India, in collaboration with the State Government of Goa (Entertainment Society of Goa) and the Indian film industry.

Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has confirmed that IFFI 2020 will take place as scheduled. The Opening and Closing Ceremony of the festival is likely to take place at Kala Academy with limited invitees following all social distancing norms and protocols.

IFFI 2020 would screen the films on its official digital platform along with the theatrical screenings during the festival in Goa, subject to prevailing conditions.

The preparations for the prestigious extravaganza have already begun in full swing. IFFI is on the lookout for International Jury members for the 2020 edition, and some big names are expected to be part of it.

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.

IFFI also confers two Lifetime Achievement Awards – one to an international film personality, the other to an Indian great. 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. India’s first international film festival was organized within five years of the nation attaining Independence. It was a non-competitive event held in 1952 in Bombay (Now Mumbai). A special feature of the inaugural function was the screening of the first film screened in India in 1896 by the Lumiere brothers. Frank Capra was part of the American delegation that attended the festival.

After a fortnight-long run in Bombay, the festival travelled to Calcutta (now Kolkata), Madras (now Chennai) and Delhi. The first international film festival of India is rightfully credited with triggering a burst of creativity in Indian cinema by exposing young Indian filmmakers to the best from around the world, especially to Italian neo-realism.

Six decades on, IFFI continues to provide a useful platform to young Indian filmmakers who work outside the mainstream distribution and exhibition system and in languages that do not have access to the pan-Indian market that Hindi cinema has.

The Indian Panorama, a section that is made up of both features and non-features, opens global avenues for films made by veterans and newcomers alike.

IFFI now has a permanent home in Goa. The coastal state has benefitted appreciably from the shift. Its cinema has received a huge fillip in the decade and a half that Panaji has hosted IFFI. Filmmakers in the coastal state have been increasingly making their mark on the national and international stage.


IFFI Spectacle Enthrals @50

admin   December 2, 2019

The Golden Jubilee edition of IFFI witnessed over 200 acclaimed films from 76 countries , with Russia as the country of focus. It also included 26 feature
films and 15 non-feature films in Indian panorama section. More than 10,000 film lovers participated over its nine days of star-studded gala ceremonies and knowledge sessions

Delivering on its promise to keep thousands of film fans, critics, theatre artists, aspiring actors and industry professionals captivated during the nine days of cinematic revelry in Goa, the Golden Jubilee celebrations of International Film Festival of India (IFFI) managed to bring the best of world cinema and talent under one roof.

One of Asia’s oldest festivals, IFFI saw a grand opening on 20th November at Dr Shyama Prasad Stadium, Bambolim. It was graced by stars like Amitabh Bachchan and Rajnikanth, besides various senior dignitaries from the Government of India including Minister of Information & Broadcasting Shri Prakash Javadekar, Secretary, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting Shri Amit Khare and Chief Minister of Goa Dr. Pramod Sawant. With more than 7,000 delegates, 200 landmark films from 76 countries, knowledge sessions, masterclasses, awards ceremony, cultural programmes, World Panorama and Kaleidoscope, and IFFI Film Bazaar, the cinematic extravaganza got bigger and better this time. Besides the festivities associated with the Festival, IFFI @50 also served as a prominent platform
to network, learn and enhance knowledge about the nuances of film making.

Opening Ceremony

Hosted by master of entertainment Shri Karan Johar, the opening ceremony was flagged off by the great doyen of Indian cinema Shri Amitabh Bachchan and the ‘Thalaiva’ of Indian film industry Shri Rajinikanth, in the presence of Union Minister for Information & Broadcasting Shri Prakash Javadekar and other official dignitaries. Shri Rajinikanth was conferred the ‘Icon Of Golden Jubilee Award’ for his outstanding contribution to Indian cinema, a first time award beginning with the 50th edition. One of French cinema’s defining faces actress Ms. Isabelle Anne Madeleine Huppert was conferred with the Lifetime Achievement Award. The inaugural ceremony also witnessed some enthralling audio visual performances which kept the audience spellbound through the evening. Noted music singer and composer Shankar Mahadevan and his band won the hearts with a spectacular performance.

Opening Film

The 50th edition of IFFI began with the screening of the Italian film Despite the Fog. The film journeys into the plight of refugees who are abandoned on the streets. In the film, Paolo, a manager at a restaurant finds an eight-year-old child on the cold streets and decides to take him home. The director delves into how society reacts to the presence of the child.

Speaking about the film, Director Goran Paskaljevic said, “It’s an intimate story. There are many films already done on the subject. But this is a story about whether people accept or don’t accept refugees in Europe and most cases they don’t. It serves a metaphor to explore the xenophobic fog prevalent in the region.”

Mariella Li Sacchi, one of the producers, stated that “the film isn’t a mainstream film, but a political statement”.

Legends of Indian cinema Ilaiyaraja, Prem Chopra, Manju Borah, Aravind Swamy and Haubam Paban Kumar were felicitated on the closing ceremony

Multimedia Exhibition

Adding yet another dimension to the IFFI experience this year was a one of its kind hi-tech digital, interactive and multimedia exhibition put up by the Bureau of Outreach and Communication and National Film Archives of India (NFAI) at Darya Sangam, near Kala academy. Named IFFI@50 the exhibition traced the journey of IFFI over the last five decades as it showcases Indian cinema to the world while also providing a platform in India for showcasing world cinema.

The exhibition leveraged novelhi- tech features like Zoetrope (moving picture creative installation), 360 bullet shot, 360 degree immersive experience area, augmented reality experience, vertical digital display panels, virtual reality tools, hologram technology, etc to create a self-learning historical experience for the viewers.

Panoramic view of the venue at the 50th International
Film Festival of India (IFFI-2019)

Amitabh Bachchan Retrospective

Shri Amitabh Bachchan inaugurated the Dadasaheb Phalke Award retrospective organised at Kala Academy during IFFI. Speaking at the launch, the veteran actor said, “I feel deeply humbled and would thank the Government of India for this prestigious award. I’ve always felt that I’m not deserving of such recognition but I humbly accept this with a lot of grace
and affection”.

Calling cinema a universal medium Shri Bachchan added that films are beyond the borders of language. The actor expressed hope that we continue to make films that will bring people together.

Indian Panorama

The Indian Panorama section of the 50th edition of IFFI opened with the screening of National Award winning Gujarati film ‘Hellaro’ directed by Shri Abhishek Shah in the feature film category at INOX in Panjim, Goa. A Kashmiri film ‘Nooreh’, directed by Shri Ashish Pandey, opened the non-feature film category at Indian Panorama. The other selections in the feature film category included five Marathi films — ‘Tujhya Aaila’,
‘Anandi Gopal’, ‘Bhonga’, ‘Mai Ghat’ and ‘Photo-Prem’. This category also included three films each in Malayalam and Bengali, two in Tamil and one Kannada film.

The feature film category also had a sub-section on mainstream cinema, under which popular films like ‘Gully Boy’, ‘Uri: The Surgical Strike’, ‘Super 30’ and ‘Badhaai Ho’ were screened. Telugu film ‘F2’ was also screened under this category.

IFFI Steering Committee Member and Director, Rahul Rawail felicitating Director
and Producer, Farah Khan at the 50th International Film Festival of India

NFAI Calendar

The NFAI Calendar 2020 was launched by I&B Secretary Shri Amit Khare. The calendar focuses on the musical instruments in Indian Cinema featuring 24 rare images from the collection of the archive. A rich compilation of the treasure of Indian musical instruments in Indian Cinema, the calendar features rare images of Raj Kapoor playing Tamboora (Valmiki, 1946); Jayashree Gadkar playing Veena (Seeta Maiya, 1964); Vishnupant Pagnis playing Ektara (Narsi Bhagat, 1940); P L Deshpande
playing Tenor Banjo (Gulacha Ganapati, 1953); Sivaji Ganesan playing Nadaswaram (Thillana Mohanambal, 1968); Neralattu Rama Poduval playing Idakka (Thampu, 1978); Raj Kumar playing Shehnai (Sanadhi Appanna, 1977), Kalpana playing Violin (GejjePooje, 1970), Kishore Kumar playing Harmonium (Shabash Daddy, 1978), etc.

Oscar Retrospective

A session on Oscar Retrospective was held on Day 1 at IFFI Goa. Moderated by Journalist and film critic Naman Ramachandran, the session had the Festival Director, ADG, Diretorate of Film Festivals (DFF), Chaitanya Prasad along with the editor of American Film Editor who also worked on the restored version of Casablanca, Ms. Carol Littleton. “We have grown up watching these films and admiring them. To be able to see these films on big screen is an experience in itself,” said Mr Prasad.

Ms Littleton spoke about how huge amount of efforts involved behind Oscars. “We work throughout the year. There are outreach programmes, workshops, seminars to make technicians technically sound. We also look at science of making films. Artistic and scientific sides both are important for making a film,” she said.

The specially curated “Homage Section” paid tribute to 13 eminent individuals who have contributed to Indian cinema during their lifetime

Country Focus-Russia

This year, Russia was the focus country at IFFI. Speaking on the joint production of films and cultural exchange through films, Russian Ambassador to India Mr. Nikolay Kudashev said that such efforts will bring the spirit of India and Russia together. Head of Russian delegation
at IFFI and Editor in Chief of Kinoreporter Ms. Maria Lameshev said that there was a great interest for Russian films among Indian people. She added that according to the co-production agreement, 40 percent of budget of the film would be given back by the Ministry of Culture. She extended her support in facilitating meetings for possible co-productions in future.

Eight Russian films–Abigail, Acid, Andrei Tarkovsky: A Cinema Prayer, Beanpole, Great poetry , Once in trubchevsk , Why don’t you just die!, and The Hero- -were screened in the Country Focus section of IFFI this year.

Accessible India – Accessible Films

A joint collaboration between IFFI, Saksham Bharat and UNESCO, the 50th IFFI edition screened three films for those with special needs with an aim to promote the creation of inclusive spaces for the differently-abled through audio description. The section opened with ‘Munna Bhai MBBS’ directed by Rajkumar Hirani. Attending the festival for the first time, actress Taapsee Pannu said that she was surprised to know such films were made. “I’ve not seen films that use audio to explain the scenes; so I wanted to surely see how it’s done,” she said. The other films screened were ‘Lage Raho Munnabhai’, ‘M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story’ and the Konkani film ‘Questao De Confusao’ with additional narration for the visually impaired.

Singer and Music Composer, Hariharan, Lesle Lewis and Tanushree Shankar being felicitated, at the closing ceremony of the 50th International Film Festival of India (IFFI-2019)

Open Forum

The 2019 edition of the Open Forum organised by the Federation of the Film Societies of India opened with the pertinent topic: Focus on IFFI @50: Flash Back and Moving Forward. The session was inaugurated by Chaitanya Prasad, Festival Director, ADG, Directorate of Film Festival (DFF), Kiran Shantaram, President, Federation of Film Societies of India, AK Bir, Filmmaker and Chairman of Technical Committee, IFFI 2019, Alexey Govorukhin, Executive Producer, Kinoreporter Magazine, Russia and Marianne Borgo, actress from France.

I congratulate the entire IFFI team for a grand Golden celebrations of IFFI 2019 with impeccable choice of films. It was a great learning experience for filmmaker’s like us to network and understand the wide range of language of cinema Chandrakant Singh, Film Maker

Celebrating Constitution Day

Films Division, Government of India, Mumbai celebrated ‘Constitution Day’ on 26th November. Three documentaries: ‘Our Constitution’, ‘India’s Struggle for Freedom: We the People of India’ and ‘Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar’, were screened to mark the occasion. The widely publicized screening of these films was open to all and free.

Film Education

An open forum held at IFFI brought to fore the urgent need for monitoring the quality of education being imparted by various film institutes in the country. Present at the session were panelists – Filmmaker, Cinematographer and Script writer A K Bir, Filmmaker M K Shankar, Filmmaker Ajay Bedi and Head of department, SRM School of Film Technology, R D Balaji. The panellists also raised concern about the mushrooming of film institutes and the affect that it has in reality on students. The session was moderated by Shashwat Gupta Ray, Resident Editor of Gomantak Times who opined that there are more than 100 film institutes, almost 1400 mass communication institutes that claim to teach the art of filmmaking.

Memorable IFFI

The golden jubilee edition brought to the shores of Goa the best of recent International cinema, along with special sections such as Golden Peacock Retrospective, Debut Film Competition, Soul of Asia retrospective, Master Film makers collection, Festival Kaleidoscope section, Accessible Films for Differently Abled, World Panorama 2019, Filmmaker in Focus, Restored Indian Classics, ICFT-UNESCO Gandhi Medal competition, Retrospective of Indian New Wave Cinema , Konkani Film Package and Dadasaheb Phalke Award. The 50th edition of IFFI also showcased fifty films of fifty women directors which reflect the contribution of women in cinema.


Featured Post

IFFI Matters @ 50

admin   August 28, 2019

Facilitating the meeting of evolving global film industry aiming to build sustainable ties amongst cultures, and consequently societies, the International Film Festival of India, the oldest event of its kind in Asia which will celebrate its Golden Jubilee edition in November, continues to retain its preeminent position owing to its size, scope and vintage

The International Film Festival of India (IFFI), the oldest event of its kind
in Asia, 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.

As India gears up to celebrate the Golden Jubilee edition of IFFI on November 20-28, 2019, this time plans are afoot to trace the history of 49 editions of the festival. The film festival will also showcase the film culture of each and every region across India. Alongside IFFI, Indian Cinema has also expanded to more than 25 regional languages, 50th IFFI will also showcase this unprecedented growth. The key sections at IFFI will include International Competition, Festival Kaleidoscope, World Panorama, Indian Panorama, Masterclasses, In-conversations, Special Retrospectives, Homages, Open Air Screenings, Film Bazaar, organized by NFDC, etc.

American cinematographer and film director known for his collaborations with directors Paul Schrader, Lawrence Kasdan, Michael Apted, and Ken Kwapis will be attending the IFFI Centenary Celebrations. He was till
recently the President of Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.

The Ministry of Information & Broad-casting has extended invitation to delegates at the 44th Toronto International Film Festival to attend IFFI.

“IFFI is India’s pride. This year’s IFFI is especially significant since it marks the Golden Jubilee Edition,” says Prakash Javadekar, Union Minister of Information & Broadcasting and Environment, Forest and Climate Change. Russia will be the focus country at the 50th Edition of IFFI.

Business Exhibitions to display relevant technologies for films and an exhibition marking the 150th Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi will also be organized with this year’s Festival.The number of private theatres taken
on board for showing films during the festival will be further increased
to cater to the high demand for extra screening of popular films.

Goa Chief Minister Dr. Pramod Sawant said that organization of 50th IFFI is a proud moment for the state and his government would leave no stones unturned to ensure top notch infrastructure and hospitality arrangement to make this edition of the festival a memorable one.

With interactions from all around the world, IFFI stands today as a confident body of knowledge, with great memories archived in its heart. It holds gleaming memories of global art, evolving on theatre screens and shadows of visionaries behind it.

The festival also facilitates the meeting of evolving global film industry aiming to build sustainable ties amongst cultures, and consequently societies. The 50th edition, therefore, also plans to create numerous co-production opportunities in various aspects of film production.

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 a 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 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. The festival in Tokyo was launched in 1985, the one in Shanghai began in 1993 and the Busan Film Festival came into being in 1996.

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.

IFFI also confers two Lifetime Achievement Awards – one to an international film personality, the other to an Indian great. 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.

India’s first international film festival was organized within five years of the nation attaining Independence. It was a non-competitive event held in 1952 in Bombay (Now Mumbai). A special feature of the inaugural function was the screening of the first film screened in India in 1896 by the Lumiere brothers. Frank Capra was part of the American delegation that attended the festival.

After a fortnight-long run in Bombay, the festival travelled to Calcutta (now Kolkata), Madras (now Chennai) and Delhi. The first international film festival of India is rightfully credited with triggering a burst of creativity in Indian cinema by exposing young Indian filmmakers to the best from around the world, especially to Italian neo-realism.

It isn’t without significance that Satyajit Ray’s first film, Pather Panchali, was completed in 1955, and Bimal Roy’s classic Hindi film, Do Bigha Zameen, was released in 1953.

Six decades on, IFFI continues to provide a useful platform to young Indian filmmakers who work outside the mainstream distribution and exhibition system and in languages that do not have access to the pan-Indian market that Hindi cinema has.

The Indian Panorama, a section that is made up of both features and non-features, opens global avenues for films made by veterans and newcomers alike.

It wasn’t until 1961 that the second edition of the festival, also non-competitive and hosted by Delhi, was mounted, but the idea of an itinerant festival had been sown.

In 1965, the year of its third edition, the festival secured ‘A’ category grading from the Paris-based FIAPF (Federation Internationale des Associations de Producteurs de Films), which brought it on par with the world’s biggest festivals in Venice, Cannes, Berlin, Moscow and Karlovy Vary.

For three decades from the mid-1970s, the festival was held every alternate year in the national capital of Delhi, with other Indian cities – Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad and Thiruvananthapuram – taking turns to host the event every other year.

IFFI now has a permanent home in Goa. The coastal state has benefitted appreciably from the shift. Its cinema has received a huge fillip in the decade and a half that Panaji has hosted IFFI. Filmmakers in the coastal state have been increasingly making their mark on the national and international stage.