Pune Film Fest to begin on 10 January


MUMBAI: The Pune International Film Festival (PIFF) will be inaugurated on 10 January, 2008 at Ganesh Kala Krida Manch.

The event will be inaugurated by I&B minister Priyaranjan Dasmunsi. Also present will be mayor of Pune Rajlaxmi Bhosale, Antol Gogala- Counselor: Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia, Daniel Zohar Zonshine – Counsel General of Israel, Subhash Ghai, Anuradha Desai – chairperson NECC, PMC commissioner Pravinsinh Pardeshi and the International Jury.

PIFF will celebrate an excellent cross section of independent cinema from around the world for the sixth consecutive year. It will be held in Pune, from 10 – 17 January, 2008 in the presence of celebrities from the world of cinema. Over 170 films will be screened in a period of seven days.

The life-time achievement awards of PIFF 2008 will be presented during the inaugural function to Sharmila Tagore and Shammi Kapoor whose have immensely contributed to the Indian cinema. In the past Mrunal Sen, Dilip Kumar, Shakti Samantha, Vahida Rehman, Legendary Lata Mangeshkar, Dev Anand, Vaijayantimala, Yash Chopra, Dharmendra and Asha Parekh were the recipients of the PIFF Lifetime Achievement Awards.

Speaking on the occasion Suresh Kalmadi chairman of PIFF 2008 said, “We are proud to bring in the year with an event that brings together a group of extremely talented film makers from the international arena to Pune. Besides giving life time achievement awards, PIFF is the only Indian film festival that awards cash prizes in competition section of world cinema. Another highlight of PIFF 2008 will be the screening of many old and rare films from the archives of NFAI.”

Noted film director Dr. Jabbar Patel, festival director and Sabina Sanghvi vice-chairperson of PIFF organizing committee said that registration for the mega event started from 3 January from E-Square, Inox, Hotel Pathik (JM Road) and Marathon Bhavan, Mitra Mandal Chowk and the response has been overwhelming.

National Egg Coordination Committee (NECC) is the main sponsor for PIFF 2008 and Government of Maharashtra, Pune Municipal Corporation, Avinash Bhosale Group, Air India, Idea Cellular limited, Adlabs, Hotel Sun n Sand and Soma Enterprises limited are the associate sponsors for the event.  Bajaj Auto, E-square, Sakaal Papers Limited, Hotel Deccan Rendezvous, Radio Mirchi, Heldan Glass and Bank Of Maharashtra are co-sponsors for PIFF.

Fifteen best films have been short listed by the jury from International participation of 145 films from over 43 countries. Over and above these films eight Marathi films have been also short listed. In total over 170 movies will be screened during the festival.

Besides cash awards given by the state government, PIFF, ‘Whistling Woods International,’ established by Ghai, has announced four cash awards for winners in the students’ film competition section and animated films. All the winners will be declared and awarded at the closing ceremony on 17 January, 2008.


The festival will have 10 sections like Inaugural Film, Competition Section (Comprising of  International films, Marathi films, student film category), world cinema, country focus, retro, tribute, Indian panorama, Gems from NFAI, Best of Hindi- Mainstream films of Indian cinema 2007 and films of life time achievement awardees.

1. Inaugural Film: Teeth of Love (Chinese film) to be screened on the Inauguration day

2. Competition Section comprising of three sections namely:
A. International Films: The international Jury will decide the nominations of the Best International Film, Director, Actor and actress from the short listed 15 films.
B. Marathi Films: 15 films participated in the Marathi category of which 8 have been short listed. International jury (3) will decide the Best Director, Best actor and actress.
C. Students films: International jury will decide the best international Student film, best international student director, best international Student Script writer out of the 10 short listed films. 10 Short listed animated films will also be adjudged in this festival and winners will be declared by the panel of 3 international juries. These films have been short listed by Whistling Woods International.

3. World Cinema: Over 25 countries have participated with over 64 films in this category.

4. Retro will showcase National and International films. 5 films of Shyam Benegal from India, 7 films of Alexander Kloog from Germany and 11 films from Almodo vaar of Spain will be shown.

5. Country Focus will showcase 11 films from Germany, 3 from Italy, 5 from Hungary and 12 from France.

6. Gems from NFAI: 7 humorous films from Europe will be screened.

7. Tribute will showcase movies from 5 well known personalities from the industry. Movies from late G.P. Sippy will be screened here. Movies from Ingmar Bergman (Sweden), Antiony (Italy), Eminent Writer Nubendu Ghosh and Cinematographer K.K. Mahajan will be also shown.

8. Three movies of the Life time achievement Awardees like Devi, Professor, An evening in Paris will be a feast for Punekars

9. Best of Hindi- Mainstream section will showcase 6 best movies of 2007.

10. Indian Panorama will showcase 15 language films (Marathi, Bengali, Telugu, Malayalam Kannada etc) and cater to the cosmopolitan Populace in Pune.


The winners will be declared and receive the cash prizes on the closing ceremony of PIFF 2008 at Ganesh Kala Krida Manch on January 17, 2008 at 6 pm.

The various categories are:

1. Maharashtra Government Prabhat Best International Film: Rs.10 lacs
2. Maharashtra Government Prabhat Best International Director: Rs.5 Lacs
3. Maharashtra Government Sant Tukaram Best International Marathi Film: Rs. 5 Lacs
4. PIFF Best International Actor: Rs. 5 lacs
5. PIFF Best International Actress: Rs. 5 lacs
6. Best International Student Whistling Woods International award: $2000
7. Best International Student Director Whistling Woods International award: $1000
8. Best International Student script Whistling Woods International award: $1000
9. Best International Student Animation Whistling Woods International award: $1000
10. Best International Marathi Actor – Marathi film Federation award: Rs.25,000/-
11. Best International Marathi Actress– Marathi film Federation award: Rs.25,000/-

Ajay Sarpotdar, President of Marathi film Federation has announced 2 awards of Rs 25,000 each for best international marathi actor and actress.

The committee is headed by Pune MP Suresh Kalmadi followed by Dr. Jabbar Patel, Director PIFF and Ms. Sabina Sanghvi Vice-chairperson of PIFF. The advisory board comprises of Yash Chopra, Subhash Ghai, Hema Malini, Manmohan Shetty, Sham Shroff, Nitin Manmohan and Milton Shefter (USA).