January 20, 2021 9:10:36 pm
The 19th edition of the Pune International Film Festival (PIFF), dedicated to Covid-19 frontline warriors, is scheduled to be held between March 4 and 11 this year. Adapting the template being followed by other festivals, PIFF, too, will reach out to its audience in two formats – online and in cinemas, adhering to mandatory safety protocols for the latter.
“The year 2020 was riddled with uncertainty, fear and struggles, but we are hopeful now as the pandemic has begun to come under control. Vaccination is in full swing and it is the result of the combined efforts of frontline warriors. The city, which was once one of the first affected cities, is now hosting an international event again,” PIFF Director Jabbar Patel said at a press conference on Wednesday.
He further said that state Finance Minister Ajit Pawar had announced a grant of Rs 4 crore for PIFF in the last budget session. “We had asked for a hike in the funds given for the festival and the decision would bring us on par with parallel festivals that are held across the country. However, considering the current situation of the pandemic, we have decided to host the festival on a moderate scale and requested the state government to allot only Rs. 2.5 crore this year,” Patel added.
Considering the changing trends in viewing, the festival committee decided to also opt for the online platform for its screenings, similar to the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) being held in Goa. “The festival’s dates were moved to March since the IFFI had blocked its dates in January. After several assessments, we made the decision to host the festival in a hybrid format — both online and offline. In fact, the former allows the festival of Pune to go global. We are anticipating a jump in the login of delegates,” said Ravi Gupta, secretary of the Pune Film Foundation.
Samar Nakhate, creative director at PIFF, said that the festival has received 1,611 film entries from 93 countries this year, of which 180 films have been chosen by the selection committee to be presented at the festival.
The festival committee has also announced that extended festivals will be organised at Latur in March. “We have previously held our extended festivals held in Mumbai, Nagpur and Aurangabad. In view of the response so far, we are delighted to begin the same in Latur,” said Patel.
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