The curtailed 47th edition of the International Film Festival of India, which is all set to open in Goa on November 20, 2016, will be celebrating directors, who symbolise the best of storytelling on the screen, with the ‘Sholay’ fame filmmaker, Ramesh Sippy and the director of ‘Bahubali’, S S Rajamouli attending the opening and the closing ceremony respectively, while ‘Afterimage’ (2016), a polish movie screened as the opening film, paying tribute to its legendary director, Andrzej Wajda, who passed away earlier this year.
The 9-day carnival of films will get underway at the Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Stadium, in the presence of the Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting, M Venkaiah Naidu, with Sushant Singh Rajput as the guest of honour. The noted Bengali director, Goutam Ghose and actor, Prosenjit will be among the guests who will be present at the opening ceremony. In addition, the cast and crew of ‘Afterimage’, as well as of the opening film of the Indian Panorama section, ‘Ishti’ – the consecutive second Sanskrit film to open Indian Panorama section – will grace the occasion.
The highlight of the opening ceremony will be a programme tracing the journey of women in Indian cinema as choreographed by the noted choreographer, Ganesh Acharya.
The director of the film festival, C Senthil Rajan briefing the media during the curtain raiser press conference said that ‘Tamara’ directed by Elia Schneider will be the mid-fest film, while ‘The Age of Shadows’ (2016), a South Korean film directed by the acclaimed filmmaker, Kim Jee-Woon would bring the curtains down on the festival.
Justifying shortening of the film festival from 11 days to 9 days, Rajan said that the 47th edition of the film festival is more pruned and has qualitative programming, including several films running for the Academy Awards. “We observed slack in the attendance at the film festival, when it was held for 11 days,” he maintained, noting that some film sections with low attendance have been dropped, while new ones have been introduced.
Informing that four world premiers, six international premiers, 26 Asian premiers, and 104 Indian premiers would be held during the mega film festival, Rajan said that IFFI 2016 will also bring the magic of movies to the visually challenged by screening the ‘Audio Described Movies’ especially made for them. This facility will have the visually challenged audiences attending some of the festival films receiving information about the facial expressions of the actors, their costumes, ambience as well as environment of the film and body language of the performers.
It was also informed that IFFI 2016 will introduce a new laser based phosphor wheel projector from Barco Electronics. Such a projection system is being used for the very first time in any of the film festivals across the globe.
Renowned Korean filmmaker, Kwon Taek Im will be honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the festival, as it would also honour award winning and acclaimed singer, S P Balasubrahmanyam, with the Centenary Award for Indian Film Personality of the Year 2016, for his contribution to Indian Cinema.
IFFI 2016 will further recognise young talent under a new competition section, Centenary Award for Best Debut Feature of a Director. The section will showcase some of the outstanding directorial debuts of 2016 from across the globe. The winner will be honoured with a Silver Peacock and a cash price of Rs10,00,000.
In collaboration with the International Council for Film and Television, Audiovisual Communication (ICFT) Paris and UNESCO, IFFI 2016 will also present the ICFT-UNESCO Gandhi Medal to a film reflecting the ideals of peace, tolerance and non-violence.