I&B Minister of State reviews arrangements for IFFI-2008

Mumbai: The Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting Anand Sharma held the first meeting of the organizing committee of the 39th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) 2008 in New Delhi. He was there to review the arrangements for the forthcoming festival at Goa starting 22 November.

Sharma said that Indian cinema has attracted global attention over the years and events like IFFI should serve as a platform to evoke greater interest of the global audience. He further mentioned that IFFI should be organized in a manner befitting India’s position as the largest producer of films in the world. The event should be mutually enriching, both for visiting delegates from the International film arena and for the Indian film industry.

The opening function will be held at Kala Academy, Panaji. It will be organized in keeping with the standards of prestigious film festivals internationally. Two hundred seats will be reserved for delegates from the film fraternity to ensure their larger presence, the Minister announced. A system of daily registration has also been introduced to enable local film buffs to register themselves on a daily basis by paying Rs 100 to watch any three films of the Indian Section.

Over 5000 delegates from India and abroad are expected to attend the festival which will have sections like Cinema of the World, Competition Section, Foreign Retrospective, Film Heritage Section, and Indian Retrospective besides Indian Panorama as major attractions.

This time there are three country focuses – Russia, Switzerland and Iran.

The Indian Panorama will have 26 feature films and 21 non-feature films selected by juries headed by K. N. T. Sastry and Anjan Bose, respectively. Yarwing, a film in Kokborok language of Tripura, will be the opening film of Indian Panorama. It is the first ever North Eastern language film of the country to open the festival. Other highlights of Indian Panorama will be Mahasatta (Marathi), Wednesday (Hindi), Taare Zameen Par (Hindi), Pulijanmam (Malayalam), among others. Indian Retrospectives will showcase the films of L. V. Prasad, Bimal Roy, 75 years of Kannada Cinema and a Talk by Kishwar Desai on Devika Rani and Himanshu Rai: Globalization of Early Indian Cinema.

Another segment of the festival will be Homages to eminent film personalities. This segment will have screenings of films of G. P. Sippy, F. C. Mehra, Jaishree Gadkar and Mahendra Kapoor. World Cinema will have 104 films of which 15 films would be competing for awards in the Competitive Section. The latter Section has widely acclaimed films from Asia, Asia-Pacific, Africa and Latin America.

A Film Bazaar will be organized by the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) on the sidelines of IFFI-2008. It aims at creating opportunities for networking and business for producers, filmmakers and distributors from across the world. The Work-in Progress Lab for review of rough cuts of films in making, workshops on screen writing, projects on pre-selected features as well as documentary films and master classes by Shyam Benegal would be the new features at Film Bazaar.