It’s all happening in Goa at IFFI, where the union of Bollywood as well as Hollywood has just began. Goa is all set to welcome delegates, filmmakers, actors and several other artists on the first day of the 44th International Film Festival of India. Being hosted by the state for the tenth time in a row, it seems to have found a permanent address here.
IFFI, this year, saw a flurry of special delegates from all over the globe. From Iranian filmmaker Majid Majidi to our very own Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, from Bollywood diva Rekha to the young sensation Alia Bhatt, Kamal Hassan, Rani Mukerji, Nana Patekar, Deepti Naval, Waheeda Rehman, the who’s who’s are present at IFFI this year.
Addressing a galaxy stars, The Union Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Manish Tewari asked the industry to reflect on what it could do to preserve and protect the ‘idea of India’ and to build a world ‘free of fear of monologues and monotheistic manifestations.’
Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar promised the film buffs that by the next edition of the film festival, the opening ceremony would be held in a fully equipped convention center with screening facilities.
This is also the hundredth year of Indian cinema. And the inaugural ceremony marked a grand celebration by performances by maestros like Pandit Birju Maharaj, Shobhana and Ustad Nishat Khan.
At the opening ceremony, the first Centenary Award for Indian Film Personality was conferred to legendary actor Waheeda Rehman and The Lifetime Achievement Award to Czech filmmaker Jiri Menzel.
Asha Bhosle, who has sung umpteen songs for Waheeda Rehman said, “I feel very happy that she is getting this honour. My favourite songs that I have sung for her would be Bhavra Bada Naadaan.” Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, who has worked with Waheedji in his films Delhi 6 and Rang De Basanti, said, “It’s a dream to have worked with an actor of such caliber and if I select the ten best movies that I like in my life, most of them would be Waheedaji’s. Whether it’s Pyaasa, Guide or Khagaz Ke Phool.”
Looks like the 44th International Film Festival of India has gone off to a flying start and in the days to come there would be lots of talk about.