The impact of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) has been debated ever since its venue shifted to Goa in 2004. Yet, it still offers India’s biggest international movie feast in terms of scale, with the number of movies and ancillary activities it brings together for 10 days. Its 46th edition rolls out on Friday with a cultural evening followed by the screening of the opening film The Man Who Knew Infinity. One of the most anticipated movies of the year, this biopic of Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan features Dev Patel in the lead.
The venue, which has been decked up with designs by Sabu Cyril, art director of Bahubali, opens its doors to the delegates today. A total of 289 films from 90 countries will be screened, of which 47 films are Indian.
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A special attraction of the festival is the screening of nearly 26 movies, which have been official submissions to the Oscars in the foreign-language category. This includes El abrazo de la serpiente (Embrace of the Serpent) directed by Ciro Guerra (Colombia); Mustang directed by Deniz Gamze Ergüven (France); Im Labyrinth des Schweigens (Labyrinth of Lies) directed by Giulio Ricciarelli (Germany); Rams directed by Grímur Hákonarson (Iceland); and Enclave directed by Goran Radovanovic (Serbia); Que Horas Ela Volta? (The Second Mother) by Anna Muylaert (Brazil); Solnechnyy Udar by Nikita Mikhalkov (Russia); Nie Yin Niang by Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s (Taiwan) and El botón de nácar by Patricio Guzmán (Chile). India’s official section for the Oscar, Court by Chaitanya Tamhane will be screened as well.
IFFI has launched #IFFI2015 Android Smartphone App to keep moviebuffs updated on trailers, schedules, reminders and events at the festival. For the first time, IFFI will stream the opening and closing ceremonies live. Celebrity interviews as well as masterclasses will also be streamed live on a dedicated YouTube channel.
The curtains on the festival will come down with Pablo Trapero’s The Clan, Argentina’s submission in the Oscar foreign-language category. The closing ceremony will also have music composer AR Rahman as its chief guest.
Mid-Fest Feast: The Danish Girl — one of favourites in the festival circuit in 2015 — will be screened on November 25. This Tom Hooper-directed drama will be screened at Kala Academy at 4.45 pm.
Classic open-air viewing: The ‘Indian Classics’ section, which showcases eight films, will be unfolded on November 27, at Panjim’s Azad Maidan with the open-air screening of a restored print of the timeless Pyaasa (pictured). Others films to be screened under this section are Jait re Jait, Manthan, Bhavani Bhavai, Is Raat ki Subaah Nahi, Uttarayanam, Ek Din Achanak, Ajantrik and Do Bigha Zameen.
root matters: The Indian Panorama opens its features section comprising 26 movies ith Priyamanasam, the third Sanskrit movie ever made. The first screening under its non-feature segment will be Goonga Pahelwan, directed by Mit Jani, Prateek Gupta and Vivek Chaudhary.
Countries in focus: Spain is the focus country. Films include those by Carlos Saura, Pedro Almodovar and Alejandro Amenabar. In the spotlight is contemporary Argentinian cinema.