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Colourful start to film festival in Goa

The Information and Broadcasting Minister, Jaipal Reddy, thespian Dilip Kumar, the Goa Governor, S.C. Jamir, actor Aamir Khan and the Goa Chief Minister, Manohar Parrikar, at the inauguration of the 35th International Film Festival of India in Panaji on Monday. — PTI

The Information and Broadcasting Minister, Jaipal Reddy, thespian Dilip Kumar, the Goa Governor, S.C. Jamir, actor Aamir Khan and the Goa Chief Minister, Manohar Parrikar, at the inauguration of the 35th International Film Festival of India in Panaji on Monday. — PTI  

PANAJI, NOV. 29. The 35th International Film Festival of India (IFFI), Goa, got off to a colourful start here this evening. Thespian Dilip Kumar not only justified the selection of Goa as the permanent venue for the IFFI but also made it clear that there was no room for politics in the cinema industry.

"There has been a conflict for many years to snatch this event. The International Film Festival of India is neither a simple film festival nor a lingual festival where films of various Indian languages are screened. It is a global festival," he said.

Though other States had wanted to host the IFFI, many people had backed Goa's bid. Ultimately it had snatched "the golden throne," Mr. Kumar said, adding that "Goa is the Heera of India."

A galaxy of cinema celebrities, including Aamir Khan, Manisha Koirala, Yash Chopra, Ashok Amritraj, Mira Nair, Javed Akhtar, Vidhu Vinod Chopra and Shabana Azmi, attended the inaugural. The Goa Governor S.C. Jamir presided. The theme of the 35th IFFI is `Vasudaiva Kutumbakam' (universal brotherhood).

160 films, 400 shows

The stage is thus set for the screening of about 160 films in more than 400 shows. Being held between November 29 and December 9, the IFFI-Goa has seven major categories— Asian Competition, Cinema of the World, Indian and Foreign Retrospectives, Tributes and Homage, Indian Panorama and Mainstream Indian Cinema.

The festival is organised by the Directorate of Film Festivals, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, in association with the Goa Government and the Indian film industry.

The festival offices are located in the refurbished heritage precinct that once housed the Goa Medical College at Campal, while the renovated Dinanath Mangeshkar Kala Mandir on the banks of the Mandovi with a 954-seat auditorium is the festival theatre.

The highlight of the festival is to be the Asian Competition section, presenting the latest trends in Asia. These films will be screened before a five-member international jury, chaired by film director Mani Ratnam. The Golden Peacock Award (Rs. 5 lakhs) will be presented for the Best Film by an Asian Director. The Most Promising Asian Director will receive the Silver Peacock Award (Rs. 2.5 lakhs).A Special Jury Award (Rs. 2.5 lakhs) will be given to the director of a film for individual artistic contribution. There are 15 films in this category.

24x7 special award

For the first time, the festival has a special category— the 24x7 special talent award. This is open to those between 18 to 24 years of age. They will be given 24 hours to shoot a fiction film, ranging from 24 seconds to 24 minutes. The theme is `Nature and Violence.'

Cultural extravaganza

A grand cultural parade featuring giant floats on the best of Goan culture — music, nature, folk arts and dancers — along the River Mandovi marked the beginning of the festival.

The parade was followed by a musical show by local bands — Tidal Wave and Forefront — at the festival theatre, Kala Academy.

Panjim was ablaze with colourful lights,from the Mandovi Bridge to Miramar Beach.

Eminent music director A.R. Rahman enthralled the audience in the Kala Academy with a live performance of hislatest compositions from `Kisna', a film by Subhash Ghai. Dancer Isha Sharvani performed the amazing rope dance.

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