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Special Content

Volume-36, 2-8 December, 2017

IFFI-2017: Celebrating the
Future of Cinema

The 48th International Film Festival of India-2017, known among film-lovers as IFFI, began with a colourful start at a star-studded opening ceremony at Goa, on 20th November, 2017.  Addressing the opening ceremony of the Film Festival, Minister of Textiles  and Information & Broadcasting, Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani said  that India is a land of festivals, celebrations, dynamic youth and stories, where in  stories were told in over 1600 dialects. She said that the endeavor of Government of India through International Film Festival of India is to invite film makers from all over the world to the land of stories. Speaking on the role of IFFI, Minister said that the festival will help the film lovers to meet the biggest and brightest names of Indian film industry.
Earlier, renowned actor Shahrukh Khan while openening the festival, said that films are about loving, about an idea transformed into reality by hundreds of people working together. He further added that story tellers and story listeners are like a family and stories have the power to bind each and every one together. The opening ceremony of IFFI 2017 was anchored by Raj Kumar Rao and Radhika Apte. Eminent Indian film personalities such as A.R Rahman, Sridevi, Nana Patekar and Shahid Kapoor graced the event. Chief Minister of Goa, Shri Manohar Parikkar in his address welcomed all the delegates to IFFI 2017 and said that Goa will be ready in 2019 to host the 50th edition of IFFI in a magnificent way. Shri Parikkar added that Goa has developed a good film culture over the last few years and the state government would continue its work towards further developing the film industry in Goa.
The opening film of IFFI 2017 was the Indian movie 'Beyond the Clouds' by renowned Iranian director Majid Majidi, with music by A. R. Rahman. Set in Mumbai, the film showcases the beauty of "Maximum City", a splendour which often tends to get overlooked. The film is based on the director's firm belief that love recognizes no barriers.
The inaugural ceremony also witnessed some mesmerizing audio visual performances like 'Drums of India', a musical treat with drums from all across the country and 'Utsav', a visual spectacle showcasing diversity of Indian culture.
IFFI 2017 had a special focus on Canada, with films curated by the Toronto International Film Festival. Addressing the media at IFFI 2017, Mr. Cameron Bailey, artistic Director of the Toronto International Film Festival, said that diversity is a big strength and core value of Canada, a value which it shares with India. The festival showcased eight Canadian films, ‘Don't Talk to Irene’, and ‘Ravenous’, to name a couple. While ‘Old Stone’ was the Canada Focus Opening Film, ‘Meditation Park’ was the Country Focus - Gala Screening movie.
The 48th IFFI showcased the best of recent International cinema, along with special sections such as Retrospectives, BRICS Award-Winning films, Homages and an Indian Panorama Section featuring the best of Indian Cinema produced in the past year, with the aim of providing a platform for young creative minds to interact, view and learn.
The National Film Archives of India, tasked with the conservation, preservation, restoration and digitization of Indian film culture, had put up a stall at IFFI which was themed on the power of women. The stall was inaugurated by Smt. Irani, on 20th November. Stalls were put up by Films Division and by various other private entities too, imbued the atmosphere with richness, fun and festivity.
The Homage presentations at the 48th IFFI included tributes to the late Actors Om Puri, Vinod Khanna, Tom Alter, Reema Lagoo, Jayalalitha, Directors Abdul Majid, Kundan Shah, Dasari Narayana Rao and Cinematographer Ramananda Sengupta.
Around 195 films from over 82 countries were screened during the  Festival; with 10 World Premieres, 10 Asian and International premieres and over 64 Indian premieres.
Indian Panorama 2017 screened both Feature & Non-Feature films in Goa at 48th International Film Festival of India, 2017. The opening film of the feature film section of Indian Panorama was Pihu, directed by Vinod Kapri. "No Technique, Only Love and Affection", This is what Vinod Kapri, director of Pihu, opening film (feature) of Indian Panorama section, had to say when asked how he made a two-year-old act. Ms. Myra Vishwakarma, known as Pihu for her parents, is the sole actor in the movie. Shri Kapri said that he wanted to convey how children's lives get wrecked when parents fight ego battles with each other and take drastic decisions based on them; he regarded it best to tell this story from the perspective of a child. Pihu's father said that anyone who loves their child should watch this film. The opening film of the non-feature film section of Indian Panorama was Pushkar Puran, directed by Kamal Swaroop.  
"Whoever you are, wherever you are, and whatever you do, you have the right to dream". This piece of inspiration was delivered by Ms. Rima Das, director of Village Rockstars, another film in Indian Panorama section. Ms. Das said that she wanted to convey the beauty of life in a village, and how that is increasingly getting lost in the modern age. She asserted that irrespective of one's background, one can dream and answer one's calling.
Odia filmmaker Amartya Bhattacharya, director of Khyanika - The Lost Idea, expressed his gratitude to IFFI for including films by lesser known filmmakers and in giving voices to the unheard. He said that the arrival of digital media has led to a significant democratization in film-making, while competition remains in marketing the creation.
As the first of its kind in the country, IFFI 2017 had a specially curated section of James Bond films. The special section with 9 iconic James Bond films showcased the various leading actors who have essayed the character of James Bond from 1962 to 2012.
A unique feature of this year's IFFI edition was the Accessible India films section. Two films, ‘Secret Superstar’ and ‘Hindi Medium’ were screened under this category. The defining feature was that the screenings were accompanied by what is known as audio description - an additional narration that translates images, visual information or non-dialogue portions of film into spoken words so that visually impaired people can access, enjoy and learn from works of popular films. Film-lovers at IFFI were in for a touching and inspiring treat when one of the differently abled children displayed his musical talent, after the first screening of Secret Superstar.