52nd IFFI set to roll

Red carpet for Hema Malini and Prasoon Joshi!

IFFI eve press conference: (From l to r) ESG Vice-Chairperson Subhash Phal Dessai, festival director Chaitanya Prasad and PIB’s Kanchan Prasad. 52nd IFFI edition will see 148 films from 73 countries in the International Section. GenNext Cinema also come aboard this IFFI on OTT platform.

By Tara Narayan

BARELY has the Covid-19 trauma ebbed (not quite yet) but the economy is itching to get back on its feet in Goa at least. Perhaps with the help of the 52nd International Film Festival of India all set to roll out the red carpet for old-timers and new-timers alike from Saturday, November 20, 1921.
Altogether it is going to be brave presentation of the now hybrid film festival – both virtual and physical with screenings at INOX (the Kala Academy being still under wraps for repairs and not available this year). Film buffs may look forward to selecting their films of choice to see from something like 148 films from 73countries. Plus, there’re lots of premieres — 12 world premieres, seven international premieres, 26 Asia premieres, 64 Indian premieres.
Releasing the details at a press conference on the eve of IFFI were ESG Vice-chairperson Subhash Phal Dessai and DFF film director Chaitanya Prasad, also PIB’s Kanchan Prasad. The glamor quota will see yesteryear actress who is MP from Mathura Hema Malini and lyricist Prasoon Joshi of CBFC. They get the Indian Personality of the Year award. Also on the roll call of filmi personalities will be such Hindi film stalwarts as Ranveer Singh, Salman Khan, Shraddha Kapoor, Mouni Roy, Genelia and Riteish Deshmukh and more. Highflying entertainment producer Karan Johan and TV host Manish Paul will present the opening ceremony at the Dr Shyama Mukherjee In-door Stadium on Saturday evening (Nov20, 2021).
The opening film is “The King of All the World” directed by Carlos Saura at INOX and there is a mid-fest film, “The Power of the Dog” directed by Jane Campion; closing film is “A Hero” directed by Azgar Farhadi (Grand Prix winner at Cannes). But the real news at this year’s IFFI, said DFF director Chaitanya Prasad, is the OTT players coming aboard to play a major role by way of new technology releases and participating in the master classes to be held for young filmmakers seeking a career in the entertainment world.
The OTT platform is a first time for IFFI and nobody is sure how film viewers will receive this. The major OTT players are namely Netflix, Amazon, Zee5, Sony LIV, Voot. Reportedly, the IFFI focus is now increasingly to offer young talented filmmakers a platform to meet with the film industry people and in this respect there will be a cross section of film people for them to interact with in their own best interests.

Needless to say IFFI this year is part of the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav which will promote “75 Creative Minds of Tomorrow” and for this said IFFI director Chaitanya Prasad they got 400 applications from across the county, which had to be shortlisted. From the sound of it the frills may be fewer this year but this will be presumably be made up by excellence and pursuit of seeing good cinema. Films on big screen haven’t got out of fashion yet for old-timers who hope to revel in the Indian Panorama films, there’s a specially curated films section in the India at 75 section.
IFFI expects about 2,000 delegates who have paid up. It’s going to be an approximately Rs16-18crore budget IFFI with the centre slated to spend Rs9.5crore. A larger budget than last year’s but with the OTT platform stepping in the chances are more money will be made than spent. After all showbiz is still about big stakes, big money and Goa is the perfect state to cut deals!

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