IFFI 2009 - pre-festival report

by Amit R Agarwal

One of the participating films at IFFI 09

40th International Film Festival of India (IFFI-2009)
kicks off in Goa on November 23, 2009. The opening film is ‘Wheat’ from China. This Chinese historical drama is set in 260 B.C when China was mired in a long and bloody war between the Qin and the Zhao. The film has already won rave reviews worldwide.

The Chief Guest at the inaugural ceremony will be impeccably talented Waheeda Rehman. The Governor of Goa Dr S. S. Sidhu, the Chief Minister Shri Digambar V. Kamat and the Union Minister of Information & Broadcasting, Smt. Ambika Soni will also grace the occasion. Ghajini fame, Asin, would be the special guest to light the ceremonial lamp at IFFI. The inaugural function will be compered by Kabir Bedi and Divya Dutta.

IFFI 2009 is divided into various sections: Film Programs, Non Film Programs, Film Bazaar, Short Film Center and Cultural Activities. Nearly 300 films will be screened during the 11 day period.

The highlight of IFFI 2009 is that a separate Section ‘Goa as Celluloid Destination’ has been added. Eight films of various languages shot in Goa will be screened. The Films Division Section will also present a set of short films/ documentaries based on the Indian music maestros. For the first time, Malegaon industry of remakes gets an international platform with the screening of two of their films - Yeh Hai Malegaon Ka Superman and Gabbarbhai MBBS.

Other highlights are - ‘Cinema of the World’ section will showcase more than 55 films from around 47 countries. The competition section has films from from Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Kazakhstan, Iran, Mexico, Peru, Philippines, South Korea, Sri-Lanka, Taiwan and Argentina. Two Indian entries, Atanu Ghosh's Bengali film ‘Angshumaner Chhobi’ and Satish Manwar's Marathi film ‘Gabricha Paus’ have been selected for this section.

The Competition jury is headed by the noted director from Brazil Joao Batista de Andrade. Other members of the jury include Vic Sarin (Canada), Kenichi Okubu (Tokyo), Sarika (India) and Jean-Michel Frodon (France).

Eminent Columnist and wife of Lord Meghnad Desai, Ms. Kishwar Desai would be delivering an audio visual lecture on Adaptation of Literature in Cinema by screening the film Teesri Kasam (Hindi).

The Festival would conclude on December 03, 2009 with presentation of Golden and Silver Peacock Awards for Best Film and Best Director, the Special Jury Awards as also the Vasudha and Golden Lamp Tree Awards for the short films. Malayalam Star Mammootty will be the Chief Guest at the Closing Ceremony.