Life of Pi to premier in India at IFFI 2012

New Delhi: The Central and Goa Governments have allocated a budget of Rs 90 million for the 43rd International Film Festival of India which will be inaugurated by versatile actor Akshay Kumar.

The festival being held from 20 to 30 November will have the Indian premiere of Academy Award Winning Director Ang Lee?s much awaited film ?Life of Pi?. The film?s worldwide theatrical release is slated for November 23.

Eminent Polish film maker Krzysztof Zanussi, will be conferred the Life Time Achievement Award at the Festival, which this year will have a special Centenary Award which will be decided by an independent jury.

The inauguration will feature a medley choreographed by Maestro Saroj Khan and songs sung by Kailash Kher. Kher said he will be performing only on the Hindi film songs, keeping in view the celebration of 100 years of cinema.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari has said the Centre will work towards making the forthcoming International Film Festival of India (IFFI) Goa a self sustainable event.

Speaking over the weekend in Panaji, he said the Ministry will work towards this goal after the conclusion of IFFI 2012. The premier Festival is currently being financed by the Union and Goa government.

"I agree with the spirit (that festival should be self sustainable). There is road to travel. Once we are through with this festival, we will see how possibly can make this happen," the Minister said.

Since the time IFFI moved to Goa as a permanent venue in 2004, efforts have been made to ensure that it is made self sustainable.

The Taiwanese born American Director Ang Lee and the cast and crew of the film that includes Tabu, Irrfan Khan and the main lead and debutante Suraj Sharma will be present.

The ?Life of Pi? which is based on an adapted screenplay of a novel by the same name by Yann Martel, is a 3D adventure film telling the story of a 16 year old Piscine Molitor Patel (Pi) of Pondicherry (Puducheri), who survives a shipwreck along with animals like an orangutan, a zebra, a hyena and a Royal Bengal Tiger. The film explores the issues of spirituality, religion and life as a whole.

Ang Lee is the man behind some of the most prestigious and acclaimed films such as Sense and Sensibility (1995), Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000), Hulk (2003) and Brokeback Mountain (2005). His latest film, Life of Pi, besides providing a global platform for Indian artistes, also explores some of the scenic spots in India, including the countryside of Munnar and the French elegance of Pondicherry. During his interaction with the media, Ang Lee admitted that experiments like his are helping change the stereotype perceptions about Indians and the Asians in mainstream Hollywood.

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