M. Venkaiah Naidu, Minister of Information & Broadcasting has recalled the 1946 film titled “Vijayalakshmi” produced in 1946 on demonetisation during the British rule and praised the creativity of the film world reflecting the social concerns.
Produced and directed by late B.R.Pantulu which was based on the first demonetization in India and it had brilliantly presented the negative role of money sharks working for their own interest at the cost of the common man, Naidu said. The situation today was also similar and hence the Prime Minister for this very reason had set in motion the current process of change that would bring benefits to the citizens of the country, he added.
Aaddressing the 47th International Film Festival of India which began in Goa today, Naidu said that demonetization scheme of the Government was a national project of behavioral change of an unprecedented scale and urged the film makers to analyze and present the consequences of this change to the people in a creative manner.
Taking example of the movie ‘Sholay’, he said that movie was a huge success because it was not formulaic in the strict sense of it though it was a commercial production. The Minister added that certain relationships and values were so finely woven into the theme that people across the country owned it up and made it a landmark film.
Elaborating further, about the role of cinema as a powerful mass communication medium, the Minister said that Cinema spoke with the language of universality rising beyond the limitations of social and geographical boundaries. It promoted rapid diffusion of ideas which manifested themselves consciously or otherwise in the relaxing environments of cinema halls or homes, when the audiences were more susceptible.
The Minister also spoke about the Government initiatives to support the film industry in the form of a single window Film Facilitation Office in National Film Development Corporation and a National Film Heritage Mission to restore and digitize film archives.
S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, acclaimed singer was conferred the Centenary Award for Indian Film Personality of the Year 2016 for his contribution to Indian Cinema. He holds the record in the Guinness Book for singing and recording more than 40,000 songs and has won the National Award six times.
Internationally acclaimed Korean Writer and Director, Im Kwon Taek (Im Kwa Teek) was conferred ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’. In his career span of five decades, he has directed more than 100 films and has been honoured with a number of awards, including Best Director Award at Cannes Film Festival, 2002 for his movie Chihwaseon (chhih-wasaion). Republic of Korea was the partner country for IFFI 2016.
Ramesh Sippy, eminent director known for his seminal contribution Sholay was the Chief Guest for the opening ceremony. There would be 15 films from across the globe, including two Indian films from Indian Panorama section in the International Competition Section. Under the section ‘International Competition’, awards will be given for Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor – Male, Best Actor – Female and Special Jury Award. This year, the festival line-up included 26 Asian and 108 Indian Premieres in the International Cinema section.
The opening film of the festival was the grand masterpiece, After-Image, a creation of veteran writer and director, late. Andrzej Wajda (andre wajda). This movie is a passionate biopic about avant-garde painter Wladyslaw Strzeminski (Wlady-slaw Strz-aim-inski). The closing film or 47th IFFI would be the South Korean official entry for the Academy Awards, The Age of Shadows, directed by Kim Jee Woon.
IFFI 2016 in collaboration with the International Council for Film, Television and Audiovisual Communication (ICFT), Paris and UNESCO would also present the “ICFT- UNESCO Gandhi Medal” to a film, which reflects the ideals of peace, tolerance and non-violence.
The International Jury for IFFI 2016
Ivan Passer (ivan passer)- Chairperson (Czech Republic, USA) – internationally acclaimed Writer and Director, he is a significant figure in the Czech New Wave of the mid-1960s and collaborated as a writer with legendary filmmaker Milos Forman (Miloš Forman ) in Oscar nominated films, A loves of a blonde (1965) and Fireman’s blonde (1967). He has received Special Prize for Outstanding Contribution to World Cinema at Karlovy Vary International Film Festival
Lordan Zafranovic (lordan zafra-novich) – Member (Croatia) – internationally acclaimed Writer and Director. His most important work is the cult film Occupation in 26 Pictures (1978). Zafranović has been praised as “one of the great masters of modernism. He started his feature film career by directing film, Sunday (1969). His documentaries Eyes of Beijing (2003) and China’s Terracotta Warriors (2003)won awards for best director at the Belgrade Festival of Documentary and short film. Documentary and experimental film Symphony of the Heaven City (2004) won the UNESCO Prize for the best documentary in 2004
Nagesh Kukunoor – Member (India) – Internationally acclaimed filmmaker from India, Kukunoor is known for his narrative style and distinct scripts. Hyderabad Blues 1&2, Rockford, Iqbal and Dor are some of his most acclaimed films.
IFFI 2016 would also organize a special tribute section in the memory of Polish filmmaker Andrzej Wajda(andre wajda) and Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami (abbaas kirastomi) , who passed away this year.
The 47th edition of IFFI would screen three films for specially-abled children with special audio described technology under the Accessible India Campaign/ Sugamaya Bharat Abhiyan. This screening would take place in collaboration with UNESCO and Saksham.
Inspired by the Government’s Clean India Drive, IFFI 2016 would showcase a special package of 20 award winning short films based on the Swachh Bharat theme. These 20 films were short listed from 4,346 entries and awarded at the ‘Swachh Bharat Film Festival’ organized by National Film Development Corporation on 2nd October in New Delhi.
At 47th IFFI, National Film Archive of India has also organized a Multi-Media Exhibition on the theme ‘Azadi70 Saal: Yaad Karo Qurbani’, to commemorate 70 years of India’s Independence and its depiction through films.
The 47th edition of the International Film Festival of India would continue up to November 28th, 2016.