51st edition of IFFI gets underway on Saturday

Panaji, Jan 15 (IANS): India's biggest and oldest international film event, the 51st edition of the International Film Festival of India, gets underway on Saturday in Goa and will be inaugurated at the hands of Southern filmstar Sudeep.

This year's edition of IFFI is being organised in a hybrid format, in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has forced the organisers to limit attendance, both at the opening and closing events, as well as during the screening of the 224 films from nearly sixty countries, which are scheduled to be screened at the event. The festival has been curtailed to a duration of eight days this year.

"The festival will be conducted in the hybrid format, where movies will be screened in the auditorium and some of the sections are curated for the online platform," Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said on Friday.

Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar will also be attending the event as a chief guest.

"All pandemic protocols will be followed according to the MHA guidelines. The total seating capacity has also been reduced," Sawant also said, adding that around 199 screenings would be organised in the physical format, out of which 85 are national and international movie premiers.

Some of the highlights of the event include the honouring of 80-year-old Vittorio Storaro, an Italian cinematographer, who has worked on classic films like 'The Last Emperor' and 'Apocalypse Now' with the lifetime achievement award.

The 'country focus' segment for this year's edition of IFFI is Bangladesh and the segment will screen celebrated films made by filmmakers from the country.

Renowned film makers namely Pablo Cesar (Argentina), Prasanna Vithanage (Sri Lanka), Abu Bakr Shawky (Austria), Priyadarshan (India) and Rubaiyat Hossain (Bangladesh) are members of the international jury who are tasked with selecting the best films in the international competition section for IFFI's prestigious awards. 15 films 15 films which will be screened as part of the international competition section.

"The festival will premier Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg's 'Another Round' as the opening film. The historical drama 'Wife of a Spy' by Kiyoshi Kurosawa will bring the 51st IFFI to a close. The festival will also witness the World Premiere of 'Mehrunisa'," a statement issued by the organisers said.

"A selection of 23 feature and 20 non-feature films will be showcased in the Indian Panorama section of the 51st IFFI. 15 acclaimed films will compete for the Golden Peacock award at IFFI's International Competition section," the statement also said.

The festival will celebrate the 100 years of film icon Satyajit Ray.



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