Over 200 films to be screened in Goa as IFFI opens today

Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant

More than 200 films will be screened in Goa as the 50th edition of the International Film Festival of India opens to an audience of 7,000 delegates. A jubilee inaugural, hosted by filmmaker Karan Johar, will feature superstars Amitabh Bachchan and Rajinikanth and Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar.

“The opening ceremony is at 3 pm at Shyama Prasad Stadium, Bambolim,” said Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant. “This year the delegate count is 9,300 and the total confirmed are 7,000. This year we also have a state pavilion for all eight participating states,” he said.

French actress Isabelle Huppert will be conferred the Lifetime Achievement award at the opening ceremony of the nine-day festival on Wednesday. “She has appeared in more than 120 films and is the most nominated actress for the César Award, with 16 nominations,” festival director Chaitanya Prasad said.

John Bailey, former president of Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, is heading the international jury, with 15 films representing 20 countries competing for the Golden Peacock Award. The Indian Panaroma section — which showcases India’s feature and non-feature films — will see 26 feature films and 15 non-feature films including mainstream films like Uri: The Surgical Strike, Gully Boy, F2 (Telugu film) and Super 30.

An IFFI statement said that the I&B Ministry will confer a special award, ‘Icon of Golden Jubilee of IFFI’, on Rajinikanth “in recognition of his outstanding contribution to Indian cinema, during the past several decades”. Director Prasad told the media, “The programming is the result of a constant interaction on day-to-day basis by Chief Minister Sawant and Union minister Prakash Javadekar. Secondly, it was the Government of Goa that initiated the move to have three additional screenings after repeat screening requests from the august audience. Thirdly, the programming is a homogeneous balance between the old narrative and the contemporary...”

CEO Amit Satija said that “paperless ticketing system was being done for the first time”.

According to the IFFI website, a special felicitation will recognise contribution of legends of Indian cinema like Ramesh Sippy, N Chandra and PC Sreeram at the inaugural event.