“Indian cinema offers vision to young minds to learn and nurture talent”: Arun Jaitley

MUMBAI: Information and Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley has said that the Indian film industry has come of age in view of the diversity it offers with regards to the number of films produced in different languages and themes.


“Cinema today acts as the alternate religion as it entertains, educates, gives a social perspective to issues, offers young growing minds the vision to learn and nurtures talent,” said Jaitley while delivering his address at the inaugural ceremony of the 45th edition of International Film Festival of India which began in Goa on 20 November.


Elaborating further, Jaitley said cinema as a medium in the country has matured. “There is corporatisation of the industry, making it more professional and vibrant,” he said.


The Minister reiterated the efforts being made by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting to mainstream the National Film Heritage Mission as a policy initiative. “This will ensure the preservation of the record of Indian cinema digitally,” he added highlighting the importance of Goa being made the permanent venue of the International Film Festival of India in the context of its hospitality, growth, natural beauty and cultural diversity.


Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, who was also present on the occasion, said that all efforts would be made to host the next edition of IFFI at the permanent venue.


Also speaking on the occasion, I&B secretary Bimal Julka said that IFFI aims to nurture, encourage and inspire Indian cinema and introduce it to the world outside as well as many audiences within the country.


Each edition of IFFI facilitates new strategies thereby ensuring enriched, enhanced and enlarged viewing experience. The vision of IFFI was to provide a common platform to project the excellence of the film art. With China being the focus country, Julka said that a special package on contemporary Chinese cinema had been created at the festival.


In his address, the Chief Guest for the function,  Amitabh Bachchan traced the evolution of Indian cinema through its various facets touching upon the iconic films in different periods and the dominant themes. Bachchan also highlighted the role and relevance of Indian cinema in the context of India’s diversity and plurality.


Jaitley along with Bachchan conferred the Centenary Award for Indian Film Personality of the Year on Rajnikanth for his outstanding contribution to Indian Cinema. The prestigious award consists of cash prize of Rs 10,00000, certificate and the Silver Peacock Medal. The award was instituted last year to commemorate 100 years of Indian Cinema.


The International Jury for the Festival was also introduced at the inaugural ceremony. Jaitley felicitated the Jury Members including the chairman SlawomirIdziak, noted film maker from Poland, eminent Chinese film director, Zhang Jianya, renowned Swiss film maker and head of International Locarno Film Festival Nadia Dresti, noted American film critic, Marie Brenner, and renowned Indian actress Seema Biswas.


The inaugural function also witnessed the screening of ‘Swacch Bharat’ promotion film and the signature film of the festival. The Signature Film was directed by Shaji N Karun, one of the renowned film makers of India. The President directed by eminent Iranian film maker, Mohsen  Makhmalbaf was the opening film of the festival.


The 11 day festival would screen 178 films from 79 countries across different categories which includes world cinema (61 films), master-strokes (11 films), festival kaleidoscope (20 films), soul of Asia (7 films), documentaries (6 films) and animated films (6 films). Besides, Indian panorama section would include 26 feature and 15 non-feature films. North-east being the focus region of the festival, IFFI 2014 would be showcasing seven films from North eastern part of India. Regional cinema would also be an integral part of the festival. Retrospective sections on Gulzar and Jahnu Baruah, special homage films on Richard Attenborough, Robin Williams, Zohra Sehgal, Suchitra Sen and special tribute to Farooq Sheikh would be other attractions this year. A special section of films that focus on dance, personality based retrospectives and master classes/workshops would also form a part of IFFI 2014.


The open air screening of Indian films for the general public free of cost on first come first basis would be a new attraction in IFFI 2014. Besides the world premieres, IFFI 2014 offered a repertoire of activities, such as the film bazar, 3D film shows, dinners, master classes, panel discussions, stalls and open-air screenings for the delegates.

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