IFFI 2015 to feature 200 films from 89 countries; Anil Kapoor to inaugurate

NEW DELHI: Around 32 years after he first featured in a lead role, veteran actor Anil Kapoor will inaugurate the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) this month in Goa, which will feature a total of 187 films from 89 countries in the international section.


In addition, the Indian Panorama will have 26 feature and 21 non-features in the Festival, which will open at Panaji on 20 November with the film The Man who knew Infinity by Mathew Brown. The film is a true story about the friendship between Indian mathematician Ramanujan and Professor GH Hardy that forever changed the world of mathematics.


The Festival organised by the Directorate of Film Festivals of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry in association with the Goa Government will conclude on 30 November. It will have special classes in filmmaking in collaboration with the American Academy, which awards the Oscars.


Noting that IFFI had become a global brand in the world of cinema, I&B Minister Arun Jaitley said that Spain is the focus country this year and the special focus within the country was on cinema from the north eastern states.


The competition section will have 15 films including two from India and will be judged by a jury headed by filmmaker Shekhar Kapur. The other members will include Michael Radford, Julia Jentsch, Suha Arraf and Jeon Kyu-Hwan.


The Panorama films were selected by a 13-member Feature jury headed by filmmaker Aribam Syam Sharma and a seven-member non-feature jury headed by Rajendra Janglay.


Apart from Jaitley, those present at the press meet were Minister of State Rajyavardhan Rathore, Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar, I&B Secretary Sunil Arora, Festival Director Senthil Rajan, and Special Secretary J S Mathur. Jaitley also released the poster for the 46th Festival at the press conference.


Jaitley agreed to consider a suggestion that the opening of IFFI should not clash with the International Children Film Festival of India in Hyderabad, which is held every second year. However, he said this could not be done this year.


Jaitley said the Festival promoted excellence and provided an opportunity to showcase the best domestic and international talent.


The Spanish package would have the films of master Spanish filmmakers Carlos Saura and Pedro Almadovar along with contemporary filmmakers like Alejandro Amenabar. The section would also feature Spanish actress Leticia Dolera’s directorial debut Requirements to Be a Normal Person.


Jaitley said IFFI this year would feature a special section on ‘World Cinema Restored Classics’ to highlight the idea of film restoration. This would feature a package of classics to put spotlight on National Film Heritage Mission (NFHM). 


The Minister added that the film festival will also introduce a new segment - First Cut - to recognise young talent in the field of cinema and would screen some of the outstanding directorial debuts of 2015. The section would feature emerging filmmakers including Brian Perkins (Golden Kingdom, USA) and Michael Klette (Solness, Germany) among others. The festival in association with the Oscar Academy will also promote skill development in filmmaking through master classes on varied topics like sound designing, film archive and film editing.


Jaitley said IFFI would include a special award - ICFT- UNESCO Fellini Prize - in collaboration with the International Council for Film, Television and Audiovisual Communication (ICFT), Paris and UNESCO. The award would be presented to a film, which reflects the ideals of peace, tolerance, non-violence and friendship promoted by UNESCO. 


Answering questions, Jaitley said that film festivals all over the world were now linked to a city and therefore there was no plans to shift the festival out of Goa, which had hosted it since 2004.


Arora added that IFFI was the biggest Film Festival in Asia and a leading platform for art and creativity. He said Goa had been the perfect venue for the past 11 years for the film festival.


The focus on the north east at IFFI will include a Special Retrospective on Aribam Syam Sharma along with a unique segment featuring next generation filmmakers from the north east.


Answering questions, Rajan said that there was a film from Pakistan apart from other SAARC countries as well. Speaking to Rajan said that while the Film Federation of India (FFI) and the Federation of Western India Cine Employees (FWICE) had decided to boycott the Festival, they had not barred individual filmmakers from taking part. Furthermore, steps were being taken to address their grievances.


IFFI will also be organising a special seminar on Film and Cultural diversity. A special series titled ‘In Conversation’ with eminent Indian filmmakers such as Shyam Benegal and Vettrimaran will also be organised to discuss films and the art of filmmaking with the audience. 

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