Panaji: The 53rd edition of International Film Festival of India (IFFI) kicked off with a spectacular entertainment program here Sunday
The opening ceremony of the festival was held at Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Indoor Stadium at Taleigao near the city. The theme of the opening ceremony is “Evolution of Indian Cinema in the last 100 years”.
Film personalities Mrunal Takhur, Varun Dhawan, Catherine Teresa, Sara Ali Khan, Karthik Aryan, Amritha Khanvilkar, Paresh Rawal, Sunil Shetty, Manoj Bajpayee, Prasoon Joshi, Vaani Tripathi, Ajay Devgan, Prabhu Deva, Shreya Sharan, Pankaj Tripathi, Vijendra Prasad attended the opening ceremony.
Governor of Goa P S Sreedharan, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Anurag Singh Thakur, Minister of State for I&B Dr L Murugan and Union Minister Shripad Naik were also present at the event.
The ceremony began with a brilliant performance of actor Mrunal Takhur. Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended his best wishes to the annual event held in Goa.
International jury members, actor Manoj Bajpayee, Sunil Shetty, Ajay Devgan, Paresh Rawal, Vijendra Prasad were felicitated during the program.
Spanish film maker Carlos Saura was awarded with Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement Award. Actor Chiranjivi was confirmed with Indian personality of the year award.
The Austrian film, Alma and Oskar, directed by Dieter Berner, was screened at festival venue before the opening ceremony. A total of 280 films from 79 countries are to be screened during the 8 day long festival.
Special Manipuri Cinema section begins
The opening ceremony of the 53rd edition of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) was a historic and a moment of pride for Manipur as Union I&B minister, Anurag Singh Thakur announced that the festival will feature a special section for Manipuri Cinema to mark its golden jubilee celebration.
At least 10 Manipuri films, five each of feature and non-feature films will be showcased in the special section apart from the non-feature ‘Beyond Blast’ directed by Ratan Saikhom which will be screened in Indian Panorama section.
Speaking during the inaugural function, union I&B minister Anurag Singh Thakur announced that for the first time in the history of IFFI, Manipur is having a special section.
Anurag Singh pointed out that the first Manipuri film ‘Matamgi Manipur’ even went on to win the national film award.
With the screening of opening feature film Ishanaou directed by Padmashree award winning director Aribam Syam Sharma, and Ratan Thiyam; The Man of Theater in Non-feature film section along with other films, the cinema enthusiast will get a taste of rich cultural heritage, fierce storytelling, dance, music, traditions and theaters from the state of Manipur.
Feature films include Ishanaou directed by accalimed Aribam Syam Sharma, first film directed by a Manipuri Brojendragee Luhongba directed by S.N. Chand, Loktak Lairembee by Haobam Paban Kumar, first Manipuri film Matamgi Manipur directed by Debkumar Bose, Phijigi Mani directed by Oinam Gautam have been curated by the MSFDS for screening in the special Manipuri cinema section.
Meanwhile in the non-feature category, films such as Ratan Thiyam: The Man of Theater directed by Oken Amakcham and Nirmala Chanu, Ilisha Amagi Mahao directed by Ningthauja Lancha, Look at the Sky directed by Ashok Veilou, The Silent Poet directed by Borun Thokchom and The Tainted Minor directed by Romi Meitei will be screened.
Notably, this year’s edition of IFFI also recorded the highest number of delegates from Manipur, over 20 in number, with many filmmakers, critics, officials coming for the film extravaganza.
For the first time, Manipur is also opening a pavilion at Film Bazaar organized alongside IFFI by the National Film Development Corporation, with the prime focus to lure both national and international film crew to come and shoot their film in the State to tap the enormous potential of film tourism.
At the 53rd IFFI, Manipur is the flag bearer of cinema in the northeast region with over 25 delegates making the strongest Manipur delegate in bet at IFFI, Goa, comprising filmmakers, Indian Panorama Jury, young creative minds, officials of the MSFDS, Film Forum Manipur, Cine Artistes & Technician Association, film critic, film journalist and film actors, lead by MSFDS Secretary, department of Art and Culture, Govt of Manipur.