49th edition of IFFI to opens with gala opening ceremony

49th edition of IFFI to opens with gala opening ceremony

Panaji, Curtains rose on 49th edition of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) on Tuesday evening with the gala opening ceremony that is set to showcase the theme of New India through a variety of genres of cinema. The 90-minute ceremonial programme, which entailed power-packed programme incorporating elements and narratives of the rich and diverse kaleidoscope of the Indian film heritage and industry, was graced Goa Governor Mridula Sinha, Union Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Col Rajyavardhan Rathore, Goa Public Works Department (PWD) Minister Sudin Dhavalikar and Film Certification Appellate Tribunal Chairperson Prasoon Joshi. Apart from that, a host of celebrities walked the red carpet, giving added colour to the ceremony. Amongst the big personalities, there were Akshay Kumar, Karan Johar, Julien Landais, Hrishita Bhatt, Madhur Bhandarkar, Subhash Ghai, Arijit Singh, Ramesh Sippy and Chin Han. The ceremony was held at Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Indoor Stadium at Taleigao. The show witnessed the launch of the Film Facilitation Office, an initiative by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. The colourful opening ceremony showcased the themes of history, action and romance. Audiences got to watch an array of on-stage scintillating performances by mainstream Bollywood artists – with Sonu Sood doing an action packed set, Shilpa Rao doing a romantic bit and dancers opening the ceremony with a mesmerising act. While speaking on the occasion, Mr Dhavalikar said Goa was perfect destination to host IFFI. 'IFFI provides a common platform for cinematographers of world,' he said. He thanked Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, who he said was the man behind the landmark event and who had brought about several important film related infrastructural changes and State of Art theatres in Goa, all of these projects which were realized under Parrikar's leadership. Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha) Vinay Tendulkar, Chief Secretary Dharmendra Sharma, IAS, Speaker of Goa Legislative Assembly Dr Pramod Sawant, Minister for Tourism Manohar Ajgaonkar, Vice-Chairperson of Entertainment Society of Goa (ESG) Rajendra Talak also were among those present at the event.

Earlier, Secretary, Information and Broadcasting, Amit Khare, IAS, welcomed the gathering. In his address, Mr Khare said this industry apart from being a social messenger and a medium of entertainment was providing revenue and growth and employment. Israeli film maker Dan Wolman received the Lifetime Achievement Award. The jury for the International Competition comprising of John Irvin, Adrian Sitaru, Polish Director Robert Glinski, Anna Ferraioli Ravel and Indian member Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra were felicitated on the occasion. Israel is the Country of Focus for this year's IFFI while the State in Focus is Jharkhand. The opening was followed by the premiere of the movie 'The Aspern Papers' directed by Julien Landais. The director and cast of the film were felicitated at the inaugural.

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