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Curtains go up for IFFI 2006

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Friday, November 24, 2006
Panaji, (UNI): Veteran actor Shashi Kapoor declared open the 37th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) heralding an 11-day carnival of high profile glamour, world-class entertainment and internationally applauded films in the picturesque seashore environs of the tiny coastal state of Goa on the evening of November 23rd.

Described as the Cannes of India, IFFI was inaugurated in the presence of a galaxy of stars from the tinsel world besides Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi and Goa Chief Minister Pratapsinh Rane.

The theme for IFFI, 2006 is 'The Whole World is one family'.

The two and a half hour opening ceremony was unfolded as actres Vidya Balan helped the dignitaries light the traditional lamps.

Actors Anil Kapor and Prosenjit Chatteree were guests of honour on the occasion.

The official part of the ceremony was followed by one and a half hour of cultural extravaganza featuring performances by a bevy of movie star like Salman Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Bipasha Basu, Prabhu Deva, Bhappi Lahiri, Manoj Tiwari, Sachin and Supriya, Isha Kopekar, Ritesh Deshmukh and Harbajan Mann besides others.

The function was held at an open ground near the Kala Academy, the Bandodkar Footbal Ground at Campal, one of the two venues for the festival since 2004, at 1730 hrs.

Earlier in the day there was a dazzling parade which proceeded from Mandovi Bridge, sashayed along the streets of Panaji, past the Kala Academy Stand to culiminate at Campal.

The parade depicted the diverse hues of world cinema with portrayals of popular Hollywood and Bollywood movies. It was followed by a spectacular air show by the Indian Navy.

This year IFFI, India's most prestigious film festival boasts of some of the finest movies made in the past year.

The season opened with the Penelope Cruz starrer comedy Volver, that bagged the 'Best Screenplay' and 'Best Actress' awards at the Festival de Cannes, 2006 and will sign off with Brad Pitt's Babel winner of the 'Best Director' at Cannes again, whose storyline traverses from America to Japan.

Interspersed between these two will be critically acclaimed international films from Asia, Africa and Latin America competing for the Golden Peacock' while 40 countries from around the world will showcase cinematic creativity in the Cinema of The World' section.

IFFI Goa, 2006 is not just about remarkable films, it is 240 hours of sheer entertainment and fun.

The festival schedule this year is packed with world premieres, film bazaars, children's workshops, street animation and music concerts including those by Sonu Nogam and Bonie M.

It will have open-air beach screenings of animated, cult and revolutionary movies.

The festival will give film artistes, directors, producers, critics and film lovers a one-stop shop to appreciate and discuss the finer nuances of quality filmmaking, view internationally acclaimed movies and create platforms for showcasing new talents.

Up for grabs at IFFI this year will be the Golden Peacock (Rs 10,00,000) award for the Best Film and the Silver Peacock (Rs 5,00,000) for the Most Promising Director.

A Special Jury Award awaits a director for his individual artistic contribution.

The race for the Peacock will be a hard fought battle though, since the eminent international jury comprises Mr Rolf De Heer (Chairman), an Award winning director from Australia, Mr Vincent Maraval, Producer, Co-Founder of Wild Bunch, France, Mr Olivier Assayas, Award winning director from France and Mr Jahnu Barua, Award winning Director from Assam, India.

Filmmaker Boney Kapoor, who is the president of the Film Federation of India (FFI) was also present and proposed a vote of thanks. The festival presents the Indian Film Fraternity with tremendous opportunities for global recognition. Film festival director V B Pyarelal introduced the jury.

Along with retrospectives of Rolf de Heer, Javier Bardem, G Aravindan, IFFI Goa 2006 will pay homage to Indian luminaries S D Burman, Prithviraj Kapoor, Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Satyajit Ray and others who have contributed tremendously to the growth of Indian cinema.

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