What the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) offers this year

IFFI | Rajinikanth is like family, says Bachchan

Star act: Actor Amitabh Bachchan being felicitated by actor Rajinikanth, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar applauds at IFFI.

Star act: Actor Amitabh Bachchan being felicitated by actor Rajinikanth, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar applauds at IFFI.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

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The two stars exchanged warm praise at the 50th edition of the International Film Festival of India

Amidst a standing ovation in a packed indoor stadium, three veteran actors — Rajinikanth, Amitabh Bachchan and Isabelle Huppert — were felicitated at the 50th edition of the International Film Festival of India in Panaji on Wednesday.

Describing Mr. Bachchan as an “inspiration”, Mr. Rajinikanth honoured him with a shawl. Mr. Bachchan, who has a retrospective dedicated to him at the festival, said Mr. Rajinikanth was part of his family. “There is always this bickering between us... There are times when I give him some advice and then there are days, when he suggests something to me. Though, we never follow each other’s advice.... I feel that relationships are about all of this,” Mr. Bachchan said.

Dubbing Mr. Rajinikanth the “god of South Indian cinema”, filmmaker Karan Johar, who hosted the event, presented the Icon of Golden Jubilee award to the actor, celebrating his 44-year-long career. “I want to dedicate this to my directors, producers, technicians and my fans,” said Mr. Rajinikanth, as the crowd cheered.

Huppert honoured

Renowned French actor Isabelle Huppert, who started her career with Le Prussien in 1971 and has acted in over 120 films, was bestowed the lifetime achievement award.

She said she was thankful to the audience for “being as much of a cinema lover as she is”.

The jubilee celebration also witnessed some drama when three protesters, sitting in the stadium stands, heckled the Minister of Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar over the Kalasa-Bhandura project, a drinking water project in Karnataka. Mr. Javadekar is also the Minister of Environment and Forest. Taken aback by the disruption, Mr. Javadekar stopped his speech for a few seconds and then continued till the protesters were ousted by security guards.

Minister interrupted

After the disruption, the Union Minister announced a single-window clearance for domestic and international filmmakers to shoot in India. “From Goa to Leh to Andaman, they will all benefit from this scheme,” said Mr. Javadekar. He also released a postage stamp dedicated to 50 years of IFFI.

Two-time Palme d’Or winning British filmmaker Ken Loach, who has a retrospective dedicated to him at the festival, addressed the audience through a video message. “We have a particular problem that we share today, which is the rise of the political far-right, where people are set against each other and what we have to assert in our country and yours, through writing and certainly films, is that we are far better united than we are divided,” Mr. Loach said.

The ceremony also featured two performances by singer-composer Shankar Mahadevan and jazz artiste Louis Banks. The opening film of IFFI this year was Goran Paskaljevic’s Despite the Fog (Nonostante la Nebbia). In an interaction with the media earlier on Wednesday, Mr. Paskaljevic said that he made the film in response to the “xenophobia and growing fascism in Italy”.

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2020 11:47:07 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/iffi-rajinikanth-is-like-family-says-bachchan/article30030228.ece

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