Its a first: IFFI 2007 to screen Pakistani film

MUMBAI: The International Film Festival of India (IFFI) - 2007 which kicks off on 23 November, will be the first-ever edition of the film festival to have an entry from Pakistan.

IFFI will screen the Pakistani film Khuda ke Liye in the Asian-African-Latin American competition section alongwith 15 other films.

The film directed by Shoaib Mansoor deals with theme concerning problems faced by citizens of Pakistan after 11 September attack on the US. The story progresses through the perspective of a talented young musician from Lahore.

Khuda Ke Liye which stars Naseeruddin Shah in an important role, has already got into a controversy due to the subject which it tackles.

Meanwhile it has been confirmed that Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan will inaugurate the festival.

"Yes, Shahrukh Khan has accepted the invitation to inaugurate the ten-day-long festival," said the star’s spokesperson Karuna. The event will kick-start with Romanian film director Cristian Mungiu’s Four Months, Three Weeks and Two Days. The film has already won the prestigious Golden Palm award at Cannes early this year.

IFFI director Neelam Kapur says celebrated Spanish film director Carlos Saura’s critically-acclaimed film Fados will be the closing film at the festival.

She says the festival will pay tribute to some legendary film personalities including Swedish master Ingmar Bergman who died this year.

"To honour renowned Bengali filmmaker, Tapan Sinha, the festival will showcase a special collection of his films," says Kapur.

The festival director said that out of 5000 to 6000 delegates, 1500 would be in the general category which can include any movie lover above 18 years of age.

She said that this time the system had been streamlined to avoid the long queues and delays and consequent complaints, which marked the previous events. There would be advance booking of film tickets which could be done by delegates themselves at computerised kiosks.

The computerised tickets, free of cost, will contain the seat number to leave no scope for any chaos and confusion.

"All this has been done following international standards," said Kapur. She said some more facilities had been added to the festival venue to make the screenings smooth. Two new theatres have been constructed and two old ones have been upgraded to screen the films entered for the festival.

Moreover, special arrangements have been made to screen popular movies as there is always a great demand for them at the festival, she says.

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