21 Nov : International Film Festival of India (IFFI) -2008 starts in Kala Academy, Panaji, Goa on November 22, 2008 with the period Chinese film ‘The Warlords’ set in the 1860s, during the Taiping Rebellion in the Qing Dynasty, as the opening film. The opening ceremony would be simple and elegant and keeping with international standards. Noted Film Actress Rekha will be the Chief Guest at the inaugural ceremony. The Governor of Goa Dr S. S. Sidhu, the Chief Minister, Mr. Digambar V. Kamat and the Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting, Shri Anand Sharma will also grace the occasion besides several important film personalities. Telugu actress of Goan origin Illina D.Cruz will be a special guest to assist the dignitaries in lightning the ceremonial lamp. Bollywood actress Amrita Rao will host the inaugural as the master of ceremony.
The Indian Panorama at IFFI 2008 would present a bouquet of 47 Indian Films, 26 Feature films and 21 Non- Feature Films. The section would have 5 Hindi, 3 Marathi, 7 Malayalam, 4 Tamil, 3 Kannada and one each of Telugu, Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, and Kokborok Feature Films. 7 English, 5 Hindi, 3 Bengali, 2 Malayalam and one Kannada, Urdu and Manipuri each respectively will be in Non Feature Films segment. Malayalam Pulijanamam and Bengali Bishar Blues, the Best Feature Film and Non Feature Film in 54th National Film Awards respectively are the part of Indian Panorama. ‘Yarwng’ a film in Kokborok language of Tripura will be the opening film of Indian Panorama which will be inaugurated by the Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting, Shri Anand Sharma on November 23, 2008. Tare Zammen Par, Jodha Akabar, Gulmohar, Kalloori, Kanchivaram, Gulabi Talkies, Oru Pennu Randaanum, A Wednesday, Mon Jai, Mee Sreyobhilashi, Billa , Dohaa, Mahasatta and Valu among others, will be the highlights of the Indian Panorama.
Cinema of the World
In the section of the Cinema of the World, 65 films from more than 40 countries are being screened. Film India Worldwide is another attraction in the Cinema of the World Section, which will showcase films produced by Non Resident Indians (NRI) in collaboration with foreign filmmakers. The entries in the segment are Tandoori Love (Switzerland), Death without Consent (USA), Barah Aana and Chaurasta – Cross Roads of Love (India). A specialized competition for feature films from Asia, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Africa is being organized. Two Indian entries — S. Priyadarshan’s Tamil film “Kanchivaram” and Ramesh Laxman More’s acclaimed Marathi film “Mahasatta” — have been selected in the “competition” section among 13 other films chosen from Bangladesh, Russia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Kazakhstan, Sri Lanka, Iran, the Philippines, Argentina, China and Japan. Competition jury is headed by the noted Director from Hong Kong Mr. Peter Chan. Other members of the jury are Mr. Marco Mueller (Venice), Ms. Niki Karimi (Iran), Mr. Lav Diaz (Philippines) and Ms. Tabassum Hashmi (Tabu- India). Films from Russia, Switzerland and Iran will be screened under Country Focus section. The films of Aki Kaurusmaki (Finland), John Landis (USA) and Wong Kar Wai (Hong Kong) will be screened in Foreign Retrospective. 8 restored heritage film classics are included in the Film Heritage – Thematic “Women” section. Besides there will be a special tribute to Niki Karimi.
The Indian programming at IFFI – 2008 would be under seven different segments with screening of 83 films. Besides the section Indian Panorama wherein 26 Feature and 21 Non Feature films will be screened, the Indian programming would have Retrospective of Legendary Director Bimal Roy and L.V. Prasad. Udayer Pathe, Devdas, Bandini, Gautama the Buddha, Remembering of Bimal Roy and Do Bigha Zamin will be screened in Retrospective on centenary of Bimal Roy. Other Retrospective on legendary Director and Producer L. V. Prasad on his birth centenary will have the screening of Dadi Maa and Ek Duje ke Liye. Under the Lifetime Classics, Mughle- A – Azam of Dilip Kumar, Hum Aapke Hai Kaun & Dil Ek Mandir of eminent singer Bharat Ratna Lata Mangeshkar, Anbe Vaa and Kittur Channamma of eminent Kannada Actress B. Saroja Devi and Kabuliwala of Tapan Sinha will be screened. G. P. Sippy, B. R. Chopra, F. C. Mehra, Jayshree Gadkar, Raghuvaran, Mahendra Kapoor, Jeeva, Sridhar, Vijay Tendulkar and Nabendu Ghosh will be paid tribute under Homage section. A talk by Ms. Kishwar Desai on ‘Devika Rani and Himanshu Rai: Globalization of early Indian Cinema’ will also be delivered. Taj Mahal: A Celluloid Journey will screen films based on Taj Mahal- Shiraj (Silent Film) – 1928, Shah Jahan- 1964, Taj Mahal- 1963, and Taj Mahal- 2005 to showcase the monument, a major tourist attraction, for the visiting delegates.
An exhibition of the Wall Posters and Photographs on the theme of nation building, focusing on Cinema as “Entertainment” will be organized at Kala Akadami, Goa by the National Film Archive of India (NFAI). Shri Anand Sharma, will inaugurate this exhibition on November 22. This exhibition will be open to the general public. With the screening of the masterpiece from Dada Saheb Phalke’s silent cinema, “Kalia Mardan” made in 1919 with live musical accompaniment on November 23, the delegates and the guests will have an archival experience of movie viewing.
The NFAI will organize a special screening of pre-1950 films under special programme titled “Treasure from Archives “. The screening under this programme will start on November 24. with the screening of 75-year-old “Karma”, the first international production by Himansu Rai. The other films to follow in this segment are “Sant Tukaram”, “Journey of Dr. Kotnis”, “Neecha Nagar” and “Kalpana”.
National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) will organize a Film Bazaar on the sidelines of IFFI- 2008 from 26th to 29th November. The Film Bazaar aims at creating opportunities for networking and business for producers, filmmakers and distributors from across the world. This year the Bazaar offers much more to the delegates and the participants. Among others, the Film Bazaar will provide an interactive platform to promote co-production market by facilitating collaboration among potential domestic and international partners. Fifteen pre-selected feature film projects and ten documentary projects, a new feature to be introduced this year, will be presented at Bazaar. In addition, a “screenwriting workshop” will be organized by Binger Film Lab, an Amsterdam based international feature film development centre under the mentorship of global film makers to promote Indian talents. The “Work-in-progress Lab”, another new feature will be added attraction for the filmmakers wherein they can screen rough cuts or assembly edit of their ‘films in making’ to a panel of eminent filmmakers and critics and benefits from their feedback and suggestions. A Film Conclave will also be held in association with “Screen International” to conduct panel discussion and round tables on global trends in the industry and scope of partnering with India. Leading international sales agencies as well as notable producers whose work has won them critics’ acclaim and commercial success in the past will be attending the Film Bazaar as guests. There will be a Business Lounge open throughout the day for the meeting, video screening etc., in order to enhance collaboration in the field of co-production and distribution.
Doordarshan will telecast the inaugural of the festival live. All India Radio (AIR) will also broadcast the opening programme live. In addition, Doordarshan and AIR will air a half an hour special report on the festival everyday.
A IFFI Channel is also being setup by the Entertainment Society of Goa (ESG) to telecast coverage of all events pertaining to the film festival. The ESG has also introduced the Vasudha awards for films on environmental issues in the short film category this year.
The Indian Premiers section handled by the ESG includes seven new feature films. ‘Saawariya.com’ a Konkani film will be screened in this section along with others films like ‘Oye Lucky, Lucky Oye!’, ‘Thanks Maa’ ( both Hindi), ‘Tandala- Ek Mukhavata’ (Marathi), ‘One Day in Cochin’ (Malayalam/ French/ English). The prestigious film event will felicitate Bengali Director, Mrinal Sen, evergreen Actor, Dev Anand, legendary South Indian Director, K Balchander and noted Film Editor from Goa, Waman Bhonsle.