Over 300 movies from 61 countries will be screened over the next 10 days at the 41st International Film Festival of India (IFFI) 2010, to be inaugurated by Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee here on Monday.

Producer-director Yash Chopra will be the chief guest and actor Ajay Devgan, the guest of honour.

A galaxy of film stars from India and abroad will be present at the festival.

Goa Chief Minister Digambar Kamat and Director of Film Festivals S.M. Khan briefed journalists here on Sunday on the preparations.

Online ticketing for delegates has been introduced for the first time. A record 8200-plus delegates have registered themselves at the IFFI.

Mr. Khan, who is also the Festival Director, said 75 films would be screened in the World Cinema section, which had been expanded to include all continents. Eighteen (15 foreign and 3 Indian) feature films have been shortlisted for the International Competition section. It has films from China, Iran, Israel, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Russia, Poland, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Mexico, New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom.

Indian section

In the Indian section, the centenaries of five unforgettable talents — Ashok Kumar, B.R. Pantulu, Motilal, Nadia and Raja Paranjpe — will be observed with screening of their films. The platinum jubilee celebrations of Odiya cinema will also be held.

Another key aspect will be the commemoration of the golden jubilee of the Film & Television Institute of India. Five non-feature films curated by the institute will be screened.

Masterstrokes will salute cinematographer V.K. Murthy and producer D. Ramanaidu, recipients of the Dadasaheb Phalke Award. Two films associated with them are lined up for screening.

In the Tributes section, the IFFI will pay tributes to Bina Rai, Pamela Rooks, Sujit Kumar, Keshu Ramsay, Debu Deodhar, Pankaj Advani, Nirmal Pandey, Tahir Hussain, Vishnuvardhan and Ravi Baswani.

A new section, Academy Interest, is being introduced. A special screening of India's official Oscar entry this year, Peepli Live, is being organised. This will provide an international platform to position the film in the run-up to the Academy awards. Director Anusha Rizvi will be present for the screening.

And from this year, three Indian films from Panorama will make it to the International competition category.

Another new feature will be ‘Master Classes' held by Oscar winner Rasul Pookutty on sound technology and by Boman Irani on evolution of comedy in cinema.

Foreign section

In the foreign section, there will be a Cannes Kaleidoscope 2010, a comprehensive package of films that made it to the festival in the French city this year. It includes ‘Film Socialism' by Jean Luc Godard. There will also be a package of 10 Iranian films and four Taiwanese films with high aesthetic content, represented by the filmmakers, cast and crew.

Among the retrospectives of prominent filmmakers are those of Jan Jakub Kolski, Jim Jarmusch, Michael Cacoyannis and Mira Nair.

The country focus during the festival will be on Mexico, Georgia and Sri Lanka. There will be sections on Taiwanese New Wave Cinema and Australian Indigenous Fiction Films. The IFFI will also pay homage to iconic French filmmaker Eric Rohmer, who died this year. Six of his films will be screened.

Awards worth Rs. 90 lakh, the highest amount in any film festival in the world, will be presented. Five awards will be given in the International Competition section. For the first time, two new awards — best actor and best actress — will be given. The best film will be awarded the Golden Peacock and a cash prize of Rs .40 lakh; the best director will get the Silver Peacock and Rs.15 lakh. The best actor and actress will take home a Silver Peacock and Rs.10 lakh each. The special jury award winner will get a Silver Peacock and Rs.15 lakh.