Veteran singer S P Balasubrahmanyam will receive the Centenary Award for Indian Film Personality while South Korean director Im Kwon-Taek will be honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 47th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) to be held in Goa from November 20 to 28.
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“Balasubrahmanyam is being honoured for his talent… He has been working in the film industry over the past five decades. He has rendered more than 40,000 songs till now. He is a big name in Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam and also in Hindi,” Minister of Information & Broadcasting M Venkaiah Naidu said at a press meet on Tuesday. He was accompanied by Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore among others.
Naidu also announced the first ICFT UNESCO Gandhi medal, instituted in collaboration with the International Council for Film Television and Audiovisual Communication, Paris and UNESCO, to be awarded at the festival to a film that best reflects the Gandhian ideals of peace, tolerance and non-violence. A Film Promotion Fund has also been announced, which will provide funds to filmmakers whose films are selected for international festivals. India’s official nomination for Academy Awards in the Foreign Film Category will also be entitled to funding.
Another new initiative this year is the Centenary Award for Best Debut Feature of a Director, with which IFFI would recognise young talent.
Calling the festival a diverse platform, Naidu said, “Our government believes in the idea of India as a soft power and a filming destination.”
This year, 94 films from 88 countries will be screened at the festival and South Korea will be the country in focus. The festival will open with Polish director Andrzej Wajda’s critically-acclaimed Afterimage and close with Kim Jee Woon’s The Age of Shadows, South Korea’s official entry for the Academy Awards.
Internationally acclaimed writer and director Ivan Passer heads the five-member jury at IFFI this year, which also comprises British director-cinematographer Larry Smith, writer-director Lordan Zafranovic from Croatia, Dhanak director Nagesh Kukunoor and On the Edge director Leila Kilani. Baahubali director S S Rajamouli will be the chief guest at the closing ceremony.
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