43rd International Film Festival declared open in Panaji

The government was taking a number of steps to nurture the film industry and promote India as a destination for filmmaking, said Minister for Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Manish Tewari here on Tuesday. He was speaking at the inaugural function of the 43rd International Film Festival of India (IFFI), 2012.

Mr. Tewari said the government would embark on an ambitious National Film Heritage Mission during the 12th Five Year Plan to preserve India’s film heritage. India had entered into co-production agreements with various countries, he noted.

Earlier, the 43rd IFFI was declared open after the chief guest, actor Akshay Kumar, lit the traditional lamp. Goa Governor Bharat Vir Wanchoo, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, Secretary, I&B Uday Kumar Varma, among others, were present.

Mr. Akshay Kumar said he felt proud that the festival was taking place in the centenary year of Indian cinema.

Mr. Parrikar said the process of making Goa an international film destination, which he had begun eight years ago, had yielded positive results and the State had been awarded for being the best film destination. He said a collective endeavour would be made to take this festival to greater heights and to make it truly international.

Gautam Ghosh, chairman of the international jury, as well as all the jury members were felicitated by the IFFI organisers. The IFFI had, Mr. Ghosh said, gone through many ups and downs but was “still glowing” and called for more autonomy for the film body to function in an efficient way.

Hosted by actors Kabir Bedi and Perizaad Zorabian, the event showcased the evolution of 100 years of Indian Cinema through a combination of music, dance and videos conceived and directed by film director Jahnu Barua, choreographer Saroj Khan and singer-actor-director Sajjad Ali. Singer Kailesh Kher’s performance rounded off the nearly two-hour-long show.

Renowned Polish filmmaker Krzysztof Zanussi was conferred the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award, which carries a cash prize of Rs.10 lakh, a scroll, a shawl and a certificate.

The festival will come to a close on November 30 with the screening of Mira Nair’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist.

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