Dream actress Hema Malini receives Indian Film Personality of the Year Award 2021

By Our Special Correspondent

DESPITE the usual glitches small and big and the added aggravation of unseasonal November rain this year’s hybrid 52nd International Film Festival of India started off on a cheerful if low-key note an hour late only. The 3.30pm scheduled opening ceremony started rolling late although there was no red carpet presentation this time. The in-door stadium of the Dr Shyma Mukhejee Stadium was filled with invitees, delegates and on stage selected media from in and out of Goa.
Whatever may be the fate of big screen film viewing in the future a warmly welcoming Union Minister of Information & Broadcasting Anurag Thakur promised a whole lot of goodies for film makers of all genres. He endorsed the general opinion that the entertainment industry has huge employment opportunities even if we have entered “into the era of digital content, filmmaking, and not to forget film archiving, for future generations.”
According to him India is the epicentre of cinema because it has all the three ingredients of abundant labour, evergrowing consumption and a diverse culture and linguistic heritage. This makes India an ideal country for an ecosystem for the communication and entertainment business.
Chief Minister Pramod Sawant in his speech remembered former chief minister of Goa Manohar Parrikar and how hard he had worked to bring the first IFFI to Goa in 2004. Goa is now a permanent home for IFFI, it is a growing event so many things are lined up develop the cinema business in Goa. There is a single window clearance for film shootings and soon Goa will also have a film city with a film institute installed to train new talent present in the state.
Dream girl actress Hema Malini shared the Indian Film Personality of the Year award with lyricist and chairperson of Central Board of Film Certification Prasoon Joshi, Hollywood filmmaker Martin Scorsese and Hungarian filmmaker Istevan Szabo got the Satyajit Ray Lifetime achievement. An extravagant musical show witnessed some energetic dancing by Salman Khan, Riteish Deshmukh, Ranveer Singh, Shraddha Kapoor, Genelia Deshmukh and others in the troupe, against a lively Hindi film songs backdrop. The entire event was conducted by Karan Johar and Maniesh Paul. There was no red carpet unrolled which was a good thing for rain had been predicted and it rained, but it didn’t spoil the concluding ceremony within the comfortable ambience of the indoor-stadium.
Only afterwards when the show ended there was the usual massive traffic jam outside and a ruckus unfolded with honking cars and impatient invitees and delegates anxious to get home, or catch the opening film “King of the World” scheduled for screening at the INOX auditoriums where a long queue was already waiting to get in.
Some things never change but maybe they will change in IFFIs yet to come. By mid-festival this year’s 52nd IFFI lulled into a smooth operation with dedicated viewers left to book, cancel and see their films of choice. No rush lines this year. Early in the festival some complained shows were going full, to quote one senior couple from Goa, “We tried to book online as is necessary and even at the counters we tried but we couldn’t see the film we wanted to see. So we said book a ticket for any show and even that didn’t come through…so we had to pack up early for the day without seeing a single film!”

Pics Courtesy: ESG

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