’Wheat’, the story of two warring Chinese dynasties set in 260 BC, opened the 40th edition of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) with veteran actress Waheeda Rehman being the Chief Guest at the inaugural ceremony here on Monday.

Directed by filmmaker He Ping, the film explores the period when China was mired in a long and bloody war between the Qin and the Zhao kingdoms.

The inaugural ceremony was held at Kala Academy in the presence of Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni, Chief Minister Digambar Kamat and actor Asin, who assisted the dignitaries in lighting the ceremonial lamp.

Over 6000 delegates from around the world are expected to attend the festival with Oscar-winning actor Ben Kingsley is scheduled to arrive for the second half of IIFI.

The top award of the festival, the ‘Golden Peacock’ for the Best Film in the ‘competition section’, carries a cash prize of Rs 40 lakh, while the Silver Peacock for best director has a cash prize of Rs 15 lakh. The special jury award is worth Rs 15 lakh.

Popular sections in the film programming include competitions for feature films from Asia, Africa, Latin America, Cinema of the World, Tributes, Homages, Retrospectives, Country Focus films, Indian Panorama and specially curated sections.

The ‘Cinema of the World’ section this year will showcase more than 55 films from around 47 countries.