November 20, 2013 5:03:23 pm
With southern film actress Suhasini Maniratnam as a compere,Kathak exponent Birju Maharaj among the performers at the inaugural function and the festival theme designed by Assamese painter Pulak Gogoi,the 44th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) that kicks off in Goa on Wednesday (November 20) aspires to have a pan India feel and character. The festival spotlight will be on cinema from the northeastern states of India.
But the festival will not just showcase India. With Czech filmmaker Jiri Menzel’s ‘Don Juans’ as the opening film – Menzel,who is one of best known representatives of new wave cinema in his country will also receive a Lifetime Achievement award and ‘Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom’ based on South African leader Nelson Mandela’s life as the closing film,the festival’s world panorama section has lined up delectable fare.
Afghan director Sediq Abedi’s “A Man’s Desire for a Fifth Wife’ which is the first film to be extensively shot in the directors war ravaged country will also be screened.
There will also be a host of Hollywood and world movie stars in attendance,including Susan Sarandon – who along with Kamal Haasan will be the Chief Guest – Iranian director Majid Majidi and Polish filmmaker Agniezska Holland.
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According to Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari,the coming together of Sarandon of the USA and Majidi from Iran is a tribute to India’s soft power on the world stage. Japan is the country of focus for this year’s edition of the festival.
This is the first year that a centenary film award for an Indian film personality has been instituted. Yesteryear actress Waheeda Rehman will be its first recipient.
The award will henceforth be an annual affair at IFFI. A centenary award for a film has also been instituted to commemorate Indian cinema’s entry into its 101st year.
A total of 326 films from 76 countries will be screened at the festival including 15 Oscar nominees.
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