The 52nd edition of the International Film Festival of India was inaugurated today (20th November) in Goa. The festival was off to a colourful start at the Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Indoor Stadium in Panaji, Goa. Governor of Goa P.S. Sreedharan Pillai, Union I & B minister Anurag Singh Thakur, Goa chief minister Dr. Pramod Sawant, and Union minister of state for I & B L. Murugan were present at the inauguration ceremony. Among the stars present were Salman Khan, Ranveer Singh, Ritesh Deshmukh, Genelia Deshmukh, Shraddha Kapoor and Manoj Bajpayee. Siddharth Anand, Madhur Bhandarkar, Samantha Ruth Prabhu, Khusbu Sundar, Ravi Kottarakara, Raj Nidimoru and Krishna D.K. also attended. The opening film was the Spanish musical, El Rey De Todo El Mundo (The King Of All The World).
Union information & broadcasting minister Anurag Singh Thakur said in his opening address at the IFFI that the government aimed to make India the hub for world cinema, the place of choice for both, filmmakers and film lovers. He asked the world to come and be a part of India’s cinematic kaleidoscope of collaborative diversity. The festival is showcasing more than 300 films including 148 international films from 73 countries.
It is for the first time in the history of IFFI that OTT platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime are participating.
As the country celebrates the 75th year of independence, winners of the ’75 Creative Minds of Tomorrow’ competition were announced on the inaugural day. The winners comprised seven female and 68 male artistes, all below the age of 35. They were chosen based on their exquisite skills in different areas of filmmaking including direction, editing, screenplay writing, singing, etc. The youngest talent chosen was a 16-year-old, Aryan Khan, from Bihar. He was selected for his skill in film direction.
Hollywood filmmaker Martin Scorsese and Hungarian film director István Szabó were conferred the Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement Award this year. Paying rich tributes to the late Indian film genius, Scorsese remarked via a video message that Satyajit Ray’s movies opened a whole new world to him. Szabó said through another video message, “The radiant charisma of Satyajit Ray will be etched in my memory forever.”
Hema Malini was conferred the Indian Film Personality of the Year Award for 2021 on the opening day. Lyricist and CBFC chairman Prasoon Joshi will also be presented the same award at the festival’s closing ceremony on 28th November.
At this year’s IFFI, cinematic gems from BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) are being featured as part of both, BRICS Film Festival and Focus Country sections.
The international jury for the IFFI this year is led by chairperson Rakhshān Banietemad. Other members include producer-director Stephen Woolley, and filmmakers Ciro Guerra, Vimukthi Jayasundara and Nila Madhab Panda.
IFFI director Chaitanya Prasad proposed the vote of thanks and complimented I & B minister Anurag Thakur for inviting OTT platforms to participate in the IFFI. The opening ceremony was hosted jointly by Karan Johar and Manish Paul.