Cinema is modern art of storytelling ‘a collective focus addressed to all, open to all and including all’ - Shah Rukh Khan
The 42nd International Film Festival of India was inaugurated here today amidst festivities, glitz and joyous mood anticipating good cinema. The Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting Smt. Ambika Soni and Chief Minister of Goa Shri Digambar Kamat were joined by Chief Guest Shah Rukh Khan, Actress Rituparna Sengupta, Mayor of Margao, Ms. Susheela Naik, Shri Uday Kumar Varma, Secretary I&B Ministry, Shri Sanjay Shrivastava-Chief Secretary Goa, Festival director Shri Shankar Mohan, Shri Manoj Shrivastav-CEO, Entertainment Society among others, to light the ceremonial lamp. Addressing the gathering, Smt. Ambika Soni stressed on the growing eminence of Indian cinema and talked how IFFI has become an agent of the growing acceptance of Indian cinema and has given an impetus and an identity to the industry making it one of the most prosperous film industries of the world. “Let IFFI become truly an international event- an international people’s festival”, she said. Chief Minister of Goa Shri Digambar Kamat emphasized the growing film culture in the state of Goa and said that it is the right choice for a global cinematic event like IFFI. He said that his government is working to make Goa a more desirable and permanent destination for film shooting for that he is establishing a one window clearance system to promote cinema shooting in the state. Chief Guest Shah Rukh Khan while expressing happiness on being a part of this cinematic extravaganza shared his views on cinema as a medium that binds people in a shared experience. He said, cinema is modern art of storytelling ‘a collective focus addressed to all, open to all and including all’. He said festivals like IFFI are a manifestation of human happiness and should be seen as a sharing of India as people gather to share their joys and creativity. He concluded that an honest effort is critical for producing anything of value and he complimented the organizers for making that honest effort. Life Time Achievement award was conferred upon French film maker Bertrand Tavernier. The event showcased an extempore painting by Shri Vilas Nayak on Bertrand Tavernier followed by a screening of a two minute clip on the acclaimed filmmaker known for his works in world cinema. A certificate, cheque, scroll and shawl presented by the Minister of Information and Broadcasting Smt. Hosted by Rahul Khanna and Tisca Chopra, the event showcased the cultural diversity of the country which intermingled with a confluence of movie minds made for the perfect convergence of the world at Indian shores. Starting with the rendition of ‘Vandematram’ featuring seven dancers dancing on slow paced music, the opening ceremony moved on to an Odissi recital by Subhada Varadkar, Lavani performance by Karishma G, Kathak recital by Aditi Mangaldas which culminated to Saptarang Tarana which brought together all the lead performing artists together to showcase the ‘Unity in Diversity’ of the country. Moving forward with the compere talking on ‘Unification of Mankind’ and the ‘One World, One Family’ adage, the ceremony showcased a mesmerizing performance by the Shillong Chamber Choir which presented to the audience renditions which presented the culture of the country in contemporary tones. The next segment of the event presented the international jury panel which comprising of luminary filmmakers like Adoor Gopalakrishnan-the Chairman of the panel, Dan Wolman from Israel, Lawrence Kardish from USA, Lee Yong Kwan from the Busan Film Festival and Tahmineh Milani from Iran were felicitated by Rituparna Sengupta. Vote of thanks was proposed by the festival director, Shri Shankar Mohan. The opening film of the festival is ‘The Consul of Bordeaux’ directed by Francisco Manso and Joao Correa which portrayed the story of Aristides de Sousa Mendes, a man of conviction who saved 30,000 lives during the World War II. Much appreciated by the audience this 90 minute movie brought in the cast and crew of the Portuguese film which were honoured by the hosts and thus brought down the curtains on the most glorious film festival opening of the year.