IFFI to open with Romanian film, Mezaros is jury chairperson

NEW DELHI: The Romanian film which won the Palme D‘OR at Cannes 2007 - 4 months, 3 weeks & 2 days - would be the opening film at the International Film Festival of India at Goa on 23 November, and Shah Rukh Khan is the Chief Guest.

The Director of the film Cristian Mungiu and the main actress Anamaria Marinca would be present. Besides, there would be other foreign delegates representing various international film festivals from the Netherlands, China, Poland and Mexico. Major delegations from Poland and China will also be present.

Neelam Kapur, Director of Film Festivals which organizes IFFI on behalf of the Information and Broadcasting ministry in collaboration with Government of Goa, told a news conference that the competition section had been widened to have feature films from Asian, African and Latin America, open to films produced after August 2006. Fourteen films have been selected from 13 countries for the competition.

The Jury is headed by eminent award winning filmmaker from Hungary Marta Mezaros who has directed more than 60 films and has won awards in Cannes, Berlin, Venice and San Sebastian International Film Festivals. Other members of the Jury are Meltem Cumbul who is a young leading actress from Turkey; filmmaker and cinematographer Shaji N Karun, noted Argentinian film director Pablo Cesar, who has won awards in the Montreal International Film Festival and National awards in Argentina, and Robert Sarkies who is a young filmmaker from New Zealand.

I & B Minister Priyaranjan Dasmunsi and Goa Chief Minister Digambar Kamat along with several important film personalities will be present.

Kapur said the Indian Panorama at IFFI - 2007 would present a bouquet of 36 films, 21 features and 15 non-feature films. The package is a mixed bag with stalwarts like Buddhadeb Dasgupta and Adoor Gopalakrishnan presenting two films each. The section would have Ami Iyasin Aar Amaar Madhubala (The Voueurs- Feature) and Naushad Ali- the Melody continues (Non Feature) by Dasgupta and Naalu Penunungal (Four Women- Feature) and The Dance of the Enchantress (Non Feature) by Gopalakrishnan. The debut directors like Sameer Hanchante, Samir Chanda, and Bhavna Talwar would present their films Gafla (Scam), Ek Nadir Galpo (Tale of a river), and Dharm respectively at the festival.

A special section celebrating 60 years of India‘s independence, India @ 60, would showcase seven patriotic films including three feature and four documentaries.

Entertainment Society of Goa Chief Executive Officer Nandini Paliwal said theatre facilities were being significantly upgraded and increased for IFFI 2007. Nine theatres with a total seating capacity of 3026 would be part of the Festival complex as compared to five theatres with seating capacity of 2200 last year. This will considerably ease the pressure on theatres and reduce the queues witnessed last year.

The theatres are Inox Multiplex (4 screens), Kala Academy (2 screens), and Ashok and Samrat (2 screens). Two new screens are being added in Maquinez Palace, which have the capacity to be looped. She also said that a state of the art media centre has been set up in the same compound.

The delegate registration has been made fully online for IFFI-2007 to facilitate easy access to the delegates from all parts of the country and abroad. Nearly 2700 applications have already been approved. These include 1200 from the state of Goa. The last date for applying for delegate registration is 20 November. Registration fee has been fully waived for students of films from approved educational institutions

A system of booking tickets in advance has been introduced to avoid long queues. Tickets, which are free of cost to the delegates, can be booked 3 days in advance. This will help the delegates in choosing the films of their choice and ensure seats in the theatre. Sixteen booths will be provided at the festival premises for booking tickets. There will be real time display on TV screens around the venue to know about the status of availability of seats for each screening.

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