DECOR ROW: The controversy over the contract for decorations – which are always done at the last minute – returned this year (Pic by Gourish Poke)  

IFFI 2016, from November 20-28, will see Ajay Devgan as chief guest. Down to eight days from 11, this IFFI will see many Oscar winning films and popular national block busters in the Indian Panorama Section. K Sera Sera is the only Konkani film on the list

By Tara Narayan

The 47th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in its 13th year in Goa is on track to screen the best films from Indian and world cinema from November 20-28, 2016. This year sees an eight-day event with opening and concluding ceremonies at the Dr Shyama Mukherjee Stadium, Bambolim, and screening venues at Kala Academy, INOX and Maquinez Palace in Panjim as usual.

The Indian panorama has 26 feature films and 21 non-feature films, while the competition section has the usual 15 films. These compete for the Golden and Silver Peacock honours and other awards. This year introduces a centenary award for best debut director of a feature film. From Goa, only one film in Konkani has been selected – Rajiv Shinde’s K Sera Sera starring Palomi Ghose of Nachom-ia-Kumpasar and Sahoj Paather Gappo.

Other competition films are Indian Panorama opening film G Prabha’s Ishti, Manipuri film Ima Sabitri (director Bobo KH), Telugu film Baahubali (director SS Rajamouli) and Gujarati film Amdavad Ma Famous (director Hardik K Mehta). All 22 were selected from 230 entries by a jury headed by director-producer Rajendra Singh Babu.

In the foreign films category, 1,000 entries from 100 countries – compared to 700 last year – were received. Look out for the Cannes 2016 winners – Daniel Blake (UK), It’s only the End of the World (Canada), Graduation (Romania), The Salesmen (Iran, based on Arthur Miller’s ‘Death of A Salesman’), Ma’rosa (Philippines), American Honey (USA), The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki (Finland), The Stopover (France), Wolf and Sheep (Afghanistan, about the shepherd communities), The Neon Demon (Denmark), The Student (Russia), Tramontane (Lebanon).

There are also 21 Oscar foreign language films including a tribute to one of the world’s master filmmakers Abbas Kiarostami who died this year. Seven films are being screened to pay him homage.

The country of focus is South Korea. The name Kim Ki-Duk surely rings a bell. This year’s bouquet offers The World of Us (Ga-eun Yoon), Assassination (Dang-hoon Choi), Coin Locker Girl (Jun-hee Han), The Shameless (Seung-uk Oh), Dongju: The Portrait of a Poet (Joon-ik Lee) The King of Pigs (Yeon Sang-ho). IFFI’s concluding film is The Age of Shadows by Kim Jee Woon.

Needless to say, India has come a long way from its first film Raja Harishchandra in 1913! We make about a thousand films annually in Hindi and regional languages viewed around the world.

It is not surprising that the government has now allowed 100 per cent foreign direct investment. Make in India definitely includes the film world!


IFFI has always taken a curious turn in Goa! If you get exhausted watching Korean horror films, give yourself a break and watch beach soccer, or attend a health expo, do zumba or yoga or get your blood sugar checked after feasting at the chaat bazar at INOX courtyard, or listen to Goan music – all along the Campal promenade from November 20 to 28, 2016.

Film-maker and IFFI vice-chairperson Rajendra Talak informed the media that the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has a key role in organising the IFFI add-on menu for at least three days. This extra dimension will make it a bigger event, and tourists who want to watch films will also discover Goa as a holiday destination.

While the Salgaocar-Dempo football carnival is scheduled to take place on November 19 (featuring various corporate teams), there’ll be a Korean delegates round-table to discuss business ideas between the India and Korea. IFFI is entertaining a 60-member Korean film and trade delegation.

Since sports, fitness and health go hand in hand, a health expo was added and this will see a gamut of events including the sale of health-conscious food at the Darya Ganj venue at Kala Academy. It will be inaugurated by chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar, added Gazala Bhambri, CII’s head of state.

Talak said an estimated 7,500 delegates have applied, 6,000 confirmed and 5,000 paid. They are also expecting 300 media people from abroad and home. Talak said they do not expect any cash crunch following the demonetisation of `1,000 and `500 notes, and “there will be an SBI counter among other facilities”. He also stressed that the extra highlights are not going to be at the expense of the film festival. With 10 gala screenings (six international and four world premieres), 26 Asian premieres and 104 Indian premieres, the event is definitely going to be India’s biggest film festival and also a unique one in every sense.

All this is in no small measure courtesy the efforts of CII partnering with the Entertainment Society of Goa to make IFFI 2016 a success. It’s all about giving more to delegates who want to watch films and enjoy a holiday in Goa. After all, everybody wants to come to Goa to have a holiday. All they need is an excuse and it need not be just films!

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