A pictorial essay by Bindiya Vaval Naik
It was IFFI in the time of the corona virus this year! But in true spirit of the show must go on the ESG, DFF and Union Ministry of I & B produced last year’s missed festival this year from January 16 to 24, 2021. It was a gap of only two months January from the usual month of November last. The festival witnessed the screening of a total of 224 films national and international, including 21 non-feature and feature films under the Indian Panorama section. The festival hosts artistes from across the world, conducts master classes and discussions throughout the nine-day festival.
This was a first ever “hybrid mode” edition wherein delegates viewed the scheduled films virtually as well as physically at the INOX and Kala Academy auditoriums. Altogether it was a low-key affair with pandemic guidelines to be followed, only 200 to 250 people were present at Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Indoor Stadium for the inaugural ceremony. Compare this with the 2,000 plus, plus invitees and delegates who fill up the stadium annually when IFFI comes to Panaji!
Amongst the key players this year were chief guest Kannada film star Sudeep, actors Tisca Chopra doing an excellent job of compering the show, Manoj Joshi and filmmaker Priyadarshan and several others from the film fraternity in Goa and film production centers around the country.
Bollywood stars like Ranveer Singh, Madhuri Dixit, Anil Kapoor, Vicky Kaushal, Vidya Balan, Anupam Kher, Siddhant Chaturvedi and Aparshakti Khurrana sent their best wishes for the festival virtually. To quote Vidya Balan, the fact that IFFI is being held amidst the pandemic, proves an old film industry legendary saying, “The show must go on!”
The event was attended by Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar, Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant and High Commissioner of Bangladesh to India, Mohammad Imran. Bangladesh is the focus country at this IFFI edition, this is a special segment which recognizes a country’s cinematic excellence and contributions to the film industry.