AMN / GOA
The 49th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) began last evening in Goa. The opening ceremony was held at the Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Stadium in Bambolim, near Panaji. Goa Governor Mridula Sinha, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore, Goa Cabinet Minister Sudin Dhavlikar and Information and Broadcasting Secretary Amit Khare were present on the occasion.
A host of celebrities including Akshay Kumar, Subhash Ghai, Karan Johar, Rakesh Omprakash Mehra, Prasoon Joshi and Hrishita Bhatt also graced the occasion.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Rathore said, India is a diverse country full of stories. Filmmakers, through their stories, inspire and entertain people.
He expressed hope that filmmakers will continue to make wonderful movies and inspire people.
Information and Broadcasting Secretary Amit Khare said that the government has focused on entertainment and films as a champion sector.
He said the sector has been growing at the rate of over 27 per cent, and this also generates revenue and employment opportunities.
Mr Khare said, films also deliver a strong message of social change. He said, a Film Facilitation Office (FFO) has been set up to make shooting of films in the country easier.
The web portal of FFO was also launched on the occasion.
Veteran Israeli filmmaker Dan Wolman was presented this year’s lifetime achievement award.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Wolman said the award is special for him because it was given in India, which has a vibrant film culture and industry.
"I've always thought that film festivals are the most glorious celebrations cinema can have ", says @karanjohar on film festivals and what he is looking forward to at #IFFI2018 pic.twitter.com/vpTaVCmNZE
— PIB in Goa (@PIB_Panaji) November 20, 2018
Scintillating performances by Sonu Sood and Shilpa Rao mesmerised the audience during the opening ceremony.
The opening film The Aspern Papers was screened after the opening ceremony.
Over the next eight days, IFFI will showcase 212 films from 68 countries. Indian Panorama, which will present 26 feature films and 21 non-feature films, will be inaugurated tomorrow.
While Israel is the focus country, Jharkhand is the focus state this year. This year’s IFFI will also showcase six Indian sports biopics as an extension of Khelo India initiative. In the International competition section, 15 movies will be screened, out of which 3 are Indian.
IFFI will also pay homage to Shashi Kapoor, Sridevi, M.Karunanidhi and Kalpana Lajmi among others.
This year IFFI will showcase two movies Sholay and Hichki as part of a special package for visually impaired children.