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Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement Award goes to Hollywood Producer Michael Douglas

By TIOL News Service

NEW DELHI, NOV 20, 2023: "THE International Film Festival of India (IFFI) is one of the world's 14 biggest and most prestigious 'International Competition Feature Film Festivals' that is accredited by the International Federation of Film Producers' Association (FIAPF), the international body governing film festivals globally. International Film Festivals such as Cannes, Berlin & Venice are such other reputed festivals, accredited by FIAPF under this category. The annual cinematic extravaganza has been home to the best of world and Indian Cinema for years with stalwarts from the film industry of India as well as from those around the globe gracing it as delegates, guests and speakers  said Prithul Kumar, MD NFDC and Joint Secretary Films, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. He was speaking at the Curtain Raiser Press Conference for the 54th International Film Festival of India here in Panaji today.  Also present at the Press Conference were Mrs. Delilah M. Lobo, Vice Chairman, ESG, Ankita Mishra, CEO, ESG, Monideepa Mukerjee Director General, PIB, West Zone and Dr. Pragya Paliwal Gaur, Director General PIB.

Elaborating on this year's edition of the festival, Shri Prithul Kumar said, "One of the highlights of IFFI is the Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement Award (SRLTA) presented for Excellence in World Cinema. Michael Douglas, a Hollywood Actor & Producer, who is presently one of the greatest international figure in world cinema, will be there in IFFI, to accept this prestigious award, along with his wife & acclaimed actress, Catherine Zeta-Jones."

More than 270 films will be showcased during the festival at 4 venues – INOX Panjim, Maquinez Palace, INOX Porvorim, Z Square Samrat Ashok. The 'International section' of the 54 th IFFI will have 198 films, even 18 more than the 53 rd IFFI. It will have 13 World Premiers, 18 International Premiers, 62 Asia Premiers and 89 India Premiers. This year IFFI received a record number of 2926 entries from 105 countries, which is 3 times more international submissions than last year. 'Indian Panorama' section will showcase 25 feature films and 20 non-feature films from India. The Opening Film in the feature section is a Malyalam film " Aattam", and in the non-feature section is" Andro Dreams" from Manipur.

Speaking about the novel initiatives for this 54 th edition of IFFI, Shri Prithul Kumar said, that the Best Web Series (OTT) Award has been introduced this year. Aimed at acknowledging, encouraging and honouring, the flourishing content and its creators of OTT platforms.  32 entries have been received in 10 languages from 15 OTT platforms. Certificates and a cash prize of 10 Lakhs will be given as prize money to the winning series, which will be announced in the closing ceremony.

A Docu-Montage section featuring a mosaic of compelling documentaries from around the world has also been introduced this year to mark India's Oscar entry in the field and also to highlight the growing importance of documentaries in film making today.

Apart from this also introduced is a Restored Classics section featuring 7 world premieres of the world class restorations done by NFDC-NFAI under the National Film Heritage Mission (NFHM) from the damaged celluloid reels of the Indian Classics. Further, there will be 3 international restored films also showcased in this section.

With over 20 'Masterclasses' and 'In Conversation' sessions with eminent filmmakers, cinematographers, and actors, IFFI this year promises to be an exciting week. The sessions will be held at the renovated & refurbished Kala Academy at Festival Mile, Panjim, Goa. Michael Douglas, Brendan Galvin, Brillante Mendoza, Sunny Deol,  Rani Mukerjee, Vidya Balan, John Goldwater, Vijay Sethupathi, Sara Ali Khan, Pankaj Tripathi, Nawazuddin Siddhiqui, Kaykay Menon, Karan Johar, Madhur Bhandarkar, Manoj Bajpayee, Kartiki Gonsalves, Boney Kapoor, Allu Aravind, Theodore Gluck, Gulshan Grover and others will be participating in the sessions this year

Started last year, the Gala Premiers initiative is being  expanded this year with 12 gala premiers and 2 exclusive web series premiers. These film premiers at IFFI would have their actors and talent walk the red carpet  of IFFI to promote their films.

The 217 th Edition of the NFDC Film Bazaar" will have expanded scope of its verticals with a VFX & Tech Pavilion,  introduction of Documentary & Non-Feature Projects/Films, the "Knowledge Series" and 'Book to Box Office'. All in all, there will be more than 300 international film projects curated and showcased this year in the 17 th edition of the Film Bazaar for production, distribution or sales.

In the 54 th edition of IFFI this year the 75 Creative Minds of Tomorrow (CMOT)  candidates will also have professional classes especially curated by the masters of cinema and a "Talent Camp" for recruitment will be organised with more than 20 leading companies.

There will also be facilities at the festival to ensure that specially-abled festival delegates can access all the screening and other venues. Making festival an inclusive and accessible avenue for everyone is a step taken towards inclusivity.

IFFI is not just a showcase of cinematic excellence but also a celebration of cultural diversity.  IFFI Cine-mela initiative will be a spectacular addition to the cinematic festivities, where IFFI attendees & even others such as locals & tourists not registered for IFFI, can also enjoy exciting activities while celebrating the magic of cinema, arts, culture, crafts and food. An exhibition has been set up by the Central Bureau of Communication, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India which will allow cine enthusiasts to learn about films through interactive displays. Entry is free for all. Open Air Screenings will also be held for the public at three locations along with initiatives such as Caravans, Shigmotsav, Goa Carnival, Selfie points, IFFI Merchandise and others to enhance the IFFI as one of the biggest cultural extravaganza of India for the world.

Furthermore NFDC & ESG have partnered with NID, Ahmedabad for the entire decor and branding of the Festival Venues at the 54 th IFFI.

Ms. Ankita Mishra, CEO, ESG, briefed those present regarding the various logistical arrangements made for the delegates as well as local persons for smooth functioning of the 54 th edition of IFFI. This includes facilities for parking for the opening ceremony, free transportation between festival venues and procedures for booking of various screenings and sessions.

Ms. Monideepa Mukerjee, Director General, PIB West Zone briefed the media regarding various facilities available for them. She also spoke about the novel initiatives taken by PIB for this edition of IFFI. This inclused  organisation of a film appreciation workshop for media and introduction of Konkani translation for all PIB IFFI  releases.

Delilah M. Lobo, Vice Chairman, ESG concluded the conference by stating that best films from around the world will be showcased at IFFI and encouraged Goans to make most of the opportunity at their doorstep.


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