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    IFFI 2019: Historic Culmination of 50 Golden Years

    By Lekhaka

    The International Film Festival of India (IFFI) returns to the golden shores of Goa bigger, brighter and inclusive for all. One of Asia's oldest festivals is set to stage the grand opening on November 20 at Dr Shyama Prasad Stadium, Bambolim from 3PM To 6 PM. It boasts of a star-studded soiree with the likes of Amitabh Bachchan, Rajnikanth (the recipient of the ICON of the Golden Jubilee award at IFFI 2019) and Bend It Like Beckham star Johnathan Reyes Meyers. Bollywood director Karan Johar will host the event.

    The event will be graced by various senior dignitaries from the Government of India Minister of Information & Broadcasting Shri Prakash Javadekar, Secretary, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting Shri Amit Khare and Chief Minister of Goa Dr Pramod Sawant.

    IFFI 2019: Historic Culmination of 50 Golden Years

    Speaking at the curtain raiser press conference Dr Pramod Sawant, Chief Minister of Goa said that all preparations have been done at the festival venues. While elaborating the details of this year's edition, he said, "The delegate count is 9300 with a total confirmed 7000 delegates." It is also noted that there has been a 35 percent increase in this year's delegate registration.

    Dr Sawant also said that 200 students from the Goa Art College have participated for the first time in the Goa Art Mile, an art installation program.

    Filmmakers have been given an opportunity to participate in the Mini Movie Mania-Short Film Competition. Winners stand a chance to win 10 awards in the national category, while 20 at the local level. The section has received a total of 462 entries of which 352 are national and 110 at state level.

    Festival Director, Directorate of Film Festival, Shri Chaitanya Prasad briefing the media stated that the way the programming has been done is the result of a constant monitoring by Chief Minister of Goa Dr. Pramod Sawant and Information & Broadcasting Minister Shri Prakash Javadekar. "The kind of programming done is a homogenous balance between the old narrative and the contemporary. There are some engaging Master Classes and In conversations," he added.

    With reference to the ease of ticketing, CEO, Entertainment Society of Goa, Shri Amit Satija elaborated, "We have a paperless ticketing system for the first time. The details are stored in the delegate card given. If the mobile number or email is updated, the ticket details will be sent via SMS or email. The person has to show the card at venue and it will read by a barcode reader and given access. The online registration starts 48 hours prior to the screening of the movies, while counters open at 7am. There will be dedicated counters for the differently abled, senior citizens. Free transport will be provided for Inox, Porvorim screenings," Shri Satija added.

    IFFI will also honour one of French cinema's defining faces actress Isabelle Huppert who will be conferred the Lifetime Achievement award at the opening ceremony. She has appeared in more than 120 films and is the most nominated actress for the César Award with 16 nominations.

    Along with the official announcements, the 50th edition will enthrall the attendees and countless others with a cultural spectacle, a performance on the thematic of fusion music by noted music singer and composer Shankar Mahadevan and his band, who will bring alive the rhythms of India juxtaposed with international beats.

    The opening day will also see the screening of Italian Film 'Despite the Fog' directed by Goran Paskaljevic.

    What's in Store @ IFFI 50

    IFFI at 50 will take the expected attendees on a cinematic sojourn of 200 best films from 76 countries, while delving deep into the finer nuances of film making with more than 35 Master Classes.

    The 50th edition celebrates the cinematic excellence from Russia, the country focus at the festival with eight films from that country.

    To commemorate the golden years of the festival, two specially curated sections have been added to this year's programming, the Golden Peacock Retrospective which features Golden Peacock award-winning films from IFFI in the past and The Golden Lining section which showcases Indian Films completing 50 years in 2019.

    Apart from the unprecedented 90 international films making their debut at IFFI, the festival highlights regional cinema with Konkani films screened under a section The Goan Story. 17 documentaries and short films previously screened at the Mumbai International Film Festival will also be shown. The Festival Kaleidoscope brings the best international award winning films that have won top at various festivals including 'A Son', 'And Then We Danced', 'Bacurau' and 'Echo'.

    The golden jubilee celebrations' sets a record number of firsts with women filmmakers receiving a special focus in the programming this year. 50 films from across the world will be screened in this category.

    Also Read: IFFI 2019 Pays Homage to 13 Film Personalities Who Left Us In Recent Past

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