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IFFI to open today with Life of Pi

Special Correspondent
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Akshay Kumar to inaugurate festival amid threat of protests

CISF personnel deployed at the venue of the International Film Festival of India in Panaji, Goa, on Monday.—Photo: Special Arrangement
CISF personnel deployed at the venue of the International Film Festival of India in Panaji, Goa, on Monday.—Photo: Special Arrangement

Actor Akshay Kumar will inaugurate the 43rd International Film Festival of India (IFFI) here on Tuesday, in the presence of Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Manish Tewari, the Minister for Culture of Republic of Poland and Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar.

A rightwing outfit, Hindu Janajagruti Samiti, has announced a protest “within the legal framework” against the actor for his role in O My God , which allegedly hurt Hindu sentiments, even as the State government banned protests in the city when the event is under way.

During the 10-day festival, more than 200 films will be screened, starting with Oscar Award winner Ang Lee’s Life of Pi and closing with Mira Nair’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist , festival director Shankar Mohan said on Monday.

Low-key affair

This year’s festival is understandably a low-key affair, observers say, because of the stress mounted on the people by the closure of mining operations in the State. In fact, Mr. Parrikar, while reviewing the preparations on Sunday, admitted that there was no festive mood among the people.

The festival will include sections like Indian Panorama, which comprises feature and non-feature cinema selections, Indian Retrospectives, Homage, Their Firsts, Master classes and Student Films. Among the special segments are Festival Kaleidoscope, Cinema of the World, Foreign Retrospectives, Homage, Country Focus, Sketches on Screen (Animation & 3D), Masterstrokes and Documentaries.

‘Centenary Celebrations’

To celebrate one hundred years of Indian cinema, the festival will showcase a special section, ‘Centenary Celebrations.’ It will screen a selection of the best Indian movies. The ‘Centenary Film Award’ will be given to a film, which showcases the glory of cinema as a medium.

A special Centenary Award, comprising a silver peacock, certificate and cash prize of Rs.10 lakh will be given to a feature film that reflects a new paradigm in motion pictures in aesthetics, technique or technological innovation.

The recipients of the awards will be announced at the closing ceremony scheduled for November 30. It will be attended by Mira Nair, Kim Ki-duk, Ashok Amritraj, Tabu, Kailash Kher and Saroj Khan.

One of the highlights is the honouring of the eminent Polish director Krzystof Zanussi with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Categories

To recognise the best of creativity, popular jury awards will be given in different categories: the Best Film Golden Peacock, with a certificate and a cash prize of Rs.40 lakh to be shared by the Director and the Producer; the Best Director Silver Peacock with a cash prize of Rs.15 lakh; the Best Actor (Male) Silver Peacock with a cash prize of Rs.10 lakh; the Best Actor (Female) Silver Peacock with a cash prize of Rs.10 lakh; the Special Jury Award Silver Peacock with a cash prize of Rs. 15 lakh; and the Lifetime Achievement Award for an individual for his/her outstanding contribution to World Cinema with a cash prize of Rs.10 lakh.

Digital technology

Over 60 per cent of the films to be screened will use digital technology.

A record 10,000 delegates have registered themselves for participation, and 8,400 confirmations have been received till Monday.


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