New Delhi: One of Asia’s oldest festivals, the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) is set to stage the grand opening in Goa today at Dr Shyama Prasad Stadium, Bambolim. The Festival will be attended by celebrities like Amitabh Bachchan, Rajinikanth who is also the recipient of the ICON of the Golden Jubilee award at IFFI 2019, and ‘Bend It Like Beckham’ star Johnathan Reyes Meyers. Bollywood director Karan Johar will host the event.
The event will be graced by senior dignitaries from the Government of India, including Minister of Information & Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar; Secretary, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting Amit Khare; and Chief Minister of Goa Pramod Sawant.
Speaking at the curtain raiser press conference Sawant said that all preparations have been done at the festival venues. Elaborating on the details of this year’s edition, he said, “The delegate count is 9,300 with a total confirmed 7,000 delegates.” He noted that there has been a 35% increase in this year’s delegate registration.
Sawant also said that 200 students from the Goa Art College have participated for the first time in the Goa Art Mile, an art installation program.
Filmmakers have been given an opportunity to participate in the Mini Movie Mania Short Film Competition. Winners stand a chance to win 10 awards in the national category, while 20 at the local level. The section has received a total of 462 entries of which 352 are national and 110 at state level.
Festival Director Chaitanya Prasad while briefing the media said that the way the programming has been done is the result of a constant monitoring by the Goa Chief Minister and Prakash Javadekar. “The kind of programming done is a homogenous balance between the old narrative and the contemporary,” he added.
With reference to the ease of ticketing, CEO of the Entertainment Society of Goa, Amit Satija, explained, “We have a paperless ticketing system for the first time. The details are stored in the delegate card given. If the mobile number or email is updated, the ticket details will be sent via SMS or email. The person has to show the card at venue and it will be read by a barcode reader and given access.”
“Online registration starts 48 hours prior to the screening of the movies, while counters open at 7 am. There will be dedicated counters for the differently-abled and senior citizens. Free transport will be provided for Inox, Porvorim screenings,” Satija added.
IFFI will also honour one of French cinema’s defining actresses, Isabelle Huppert, who will be conferred the Lifetime Achievement award at the opening ceremony. Huppert has appeared in more than 120 films and is the most nominated actress for the Cesar Award with 16 nominations.
Along with the official announcements, the 50th edition will include a performance on the thematic of fusion music by noted singer and composer Shankar Mahadevan and his band, who will bring alive the rhythms of India juxtaposed with international beats.
The opening day will also see the screening of Italian Film ‘Despite the Fog’ directed by Goran Paskaljevic.
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