The 12th Pune International Film Festival began on Thursday at City Pride, Kothrud. The inaugural function kick-started with a dance performance by Sonali Kulkarni, along with Marathi actors and members from the cultural group of MTDC, a partner of the fest. The dance was directed by Nikita Moghe. Prithviraj Chavan, Chief Minister, Harshwardhan Patil, Minister for Cooperation and Parliament Affairs, and Sanjay Deotale, Minister for Culture and Environment, were the chief guests.
Critically-acclaimed director Adoor Gopalakrishnan, veteran actor Vinod Khanna and noted music composer and vocalist Pandit Hridayanath Mangeshkar were felicitated with lifetime achievement awards.
Gopalakrishnan spoke on the need to introspect. “Last year, when we celebrated hundred years of Indian cinema, I thought to myself that even I struggled through its journey for the past 50 years.” He also spoke about his time at the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune, in the early 60s.
Vinod Khanna was conferred with the title of ‘The Charmer Forever’, along with the lifetime achievement award. After speaking about his association with Pune because of his guru, Osho, he took the opportunity to request Chavan to look into the issues plaguing the Hindi and Marathi film industry such as VAT, worker union issues and others that needed government’s attention.
Speaking at the event, Mangeshkar said he was disappointed with the present generation. “Earlier, when I was nominated for awards, I felt that my work deserved recognition. But, when I look back at my work and listen to the younger generation of musicians, I no longer shy away from accepting awards,” he said.
Chavan revealed his plans to resolve the issue of VAT. “I met Mahesh Bhatt and we discussed the issue of VAT and have managed to reach a solution. There are other issues that too require attention. We will explore more opportunities with PIFF, next year,” he said.