International Film Festival of India (IFFI)-2009 will start in Kala Academy, Panaji, Goa on November 23, 2009. The Chinese historical drama “Wheat” has been chosen as the opening film. The film is set in 260 B.C when China was mired in a long and bloody war between the Qin and the Zhao that could not be settled for decades. Veteran Film Actress Waheeda Rehman will be the Chief Guest at the inaugural ceremony. The Governor of Goa Dr S. S. Sidhu, the Chief Minister, Digambar V. Kamat and the Union Minister of Information & Broadcasting, Smt. Ambika Soni will also grace the occasion. Well-known actress Asin would be special guest for lighting the ceremonial lamp. Internationally renowned actor Kabir Bedi and artist Divya Dutta would be compeering the Opening Ceremony.
The 11-day extravaganza is divided into various sections: Film Programmes, Non Film Programmes, Film Bazaar, Short Film Center and Cultural Activities. The Film Programming is the core of the festival and screens nearly 300 films during the period of 11 days across 10 Auditoria and 3 preview rooms in the cities of Panaji and Margao in Goa. The most popular sections in the film programming include competitions for feature films from Asia, Africa, Latin America, Cinema of the World, Tributes, Homages, Retrospectives, Country Focus films, Indian Panorama and specially curated sections.
The “Cinema of the World” section this year will showcase more than 55 films from around 47 countries. A specialized competition for feature films from Asia, Asia-Pacific, Latin America and Africa is also being organized. Two Indian entries, Atanu Ghosh’s Bengali film “Angshumaner Chhobi” and Satish Manwar’s Marathi film “Gabricha Paus” have been selected in the “Competition Section” among 13 other films chosen from Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Kazakhstan, Iran, Mexico, Peru, Philippines, South Korea, Sri-Lanka, Taiwan and Argentina. The Competition jury is headed by the noted director from Brazil Joao Batista de Andrade. Other members of the jury include Vic Sarin (Canada), Kenichi Okubu (Tokyo), Sarika (India) and Jean-Michel Frodon (France). “Film India Worldwide” is another major attraction under this category, which will screen films produced by Non Resident Indians in collaboration with foreign filmmakers. Films from Croatia, Estonia, Italy, and Poland will be screened under the “Country Focus” section. The films of Gurinder Chadha, Nonzee Nimibutr, Roland Reber and Manoel de Oliveira will be screened under “Foreign Retrospectives”. A special section will showcase renowned French films. Other sections include “War & Peace” and “Digital Section” that will screen a total of 11 films. Besides this, a special tribute would be paid to the much-accomplished Brazilian director as well as the head of the Jury Joao Batista de Andrade.
The Indian Section at IFFI – 2009 would be under nine different segments with screening of 77 films. The Indian Panorama at IFFI 2009 would present a bouquet of 44 films, 26 feature films and 18 non-feature films. The section would have 6 Bengali, 5 Hindi, 3 Kannada, 3 Marathi, 3 Malayalam, 2 Tamil and one each in Rajasthani, Tulu, Konkani and English Feature Films. 3 Bengali, 5 English, 4 Hindi, and one each in Malayalam, Manipuri and Marathi films will be there in the non-feature films segment. “Paltadchomanis” (Dir: Laxmikant Shetganokar), a film in Konkani language will be the opening film of Indian Panorama. The Indian Panorama Section will be inaugurated by Union Minister of Information & Broadcasting, Smt. Ambika Soni on November 24, 2009. Films like Angshumaner Chhobi, Antaheen, Dev D, Firaaq, Gabricha Paus, Harishchandrachi Factory are the highlights of the Indian Panorama section. The bouquet of non-feature films includes Bilal (Bengali), What If? (English), Superman of Malegaon (Hindi), Illisa Anagi Mahao (Manipuri) and Kelkkunnundo (Malayalam). ‘Dot in for Motion’ (Dir: Anirban Datta, English) will open the Non-Feature Film Section.
The Indian screenings would also feature Golden Jubilee Retros of Asha Parekh – Dile De Ke Dekho & Kati Patang (Hindi), Sharmila Tagore – Apur Sansar (Bengali) & Viruddh (Hindi) and Saumitra Chatterjee – Apur Sansar, Angshumaner Chhobi (Bengali). The Tribute Section would offer homage to 13 film personalities who left us since IFFI 2008 namely – Nabendu Chatterjee, Prakash Mehra, Gulshan Bawra, Leela Naidu, Shakti Samanta, Feroz Khan, Murali, A.K. Lohitadas, Rajan P. Dev, Nilu Phule, Bhaskar Chandavarkar, R. Lakshman and Nagesh. Their films Parashuramer Kuthar (Bengali), Zanzeer (Hindi), Anuradha (Hindi), Aaradhana (Hindi), Oonche Log (Hindi), Nizhalkuthu (Malayalam), Bhoothakkannady (Malayalam), Ente Mattykuttyam Makku, Saamna (Marathi), Bangarda Manushya (Kannada) and Server Sundaram (Tamil) will be screened.
Seventy Five years of Assamese Cinema is being celebrated by a special section featuring five films. Assamese film personalities Jahnu Barua, Gyanada Kakoti, Bidya Rao and Manju Bora would be present on the occasion. Three Telugu Musical Hits Sankarabharanam (Dir: K. Vishwanath), Sagar Sangamam (Dir: K. Vishwanath) and Seethakoka Chilaka (Dir: Bharathi Rajaa) will be screened.
As a refreshing new venture this year, a separate Section “Goa as Celluloid Destination” has been added. Eight films of various languages shot in Goa will be screened. The Films Division Section will also present a set of short films/ documentaries based on the Indian music maestros. For the first time, Malegaon industry of remakes gets an international platform with the screening of two of their films – Yeh Hai Malegaon Ka Superman and Gabbarbhai MBBS.
The Indian Premier Section will showcase a selection of eight films during the 40th International Film Festival of India, Goa 2009. The films selected include “And Once Again” by Director Amol Palekar, “Red Alert: The War Within” by Director Ananth Mahadevan, “God Lives in the Himalayas” by Director Sanjay Srinivas, “Shahrukh Bola Khoobsoorat Hai” by Director Makran Deshpande and “Zagor“ by Director Sangramsinh Gaikwad.
Eminent Columnist and film writer Ms. Kishwar Desai would be delivering an audio visual lecture on Adaptation of Literature in Cinema by screening the film Teesri Kasam (Hindi). Animation and pixilation workshops will also be held.
NFAI will exhibit around 300 posters from its collection. The theme-based exhibition (Venus – Feminine roles and reels) will be hosted in old GMC building. At the inaugural of the exhibition, NFAI will release its publication on selected posters of Indian Cinema. NFAI will also put up a programme on Shambharik Kharolika, pre-cinema gadget that evolved in India 1885 comprising hand painted glass slides. These will be projected with narration, dialogues, lyrics and background music. Shambharik Kharolika will be organized on 24th November, 2009 at Kala Academy auditorium. NFAI Vintage Musical Hits will feature a package of musical hits TANSEN- Hindi/1943/Jayant Desai, MEERA–Hindi/1945/ Ellis R.Duncan, ANDAZ–Hindi/1949/ Meboob Khan, ANARKALI–Hindi/1953/Nandlal Jaswantlal and GOONJ UTHI SHEHNAI – 1959/Vijay Bhatt. These will be shown in Kala Academy auditorium from 25-29 November, 2009. NFA Gold will showcase Apur Sansar (Bengali) directed by Satyajit Ray and Do Ankhen Barah Haath (Hindi) directed by V. Shantaram.
National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) will organize a Film Bazaar on the sidelines of IFFI- 2009 from 24th to 26th November. The Film Bazaar aims at creating opportunities for networking and business for producers, filmmakers and distributors from across the world. This year’s ‘Knowledge Series’ will have presentations on Digital Distribution for web and mobile; De-coding India’s Co-production treaties with UK, Germany, Brazil and Italy; International Film Financing as also a discussion with film maker Mani Ratnam on his body of work.
The Short Film Center is a business platform being created at the International Film Festival of India, Goa between November 24 to December 2, 2009. It is an effort to bring short film makers, buyers, festival organizers and funding agencies on to one single platform.
The IFFI also conducts a special festival fair on the sidelines at the Corniche between Old GMC and Kala Academy. This fair is organized by the picturesque River Mandovi between 23rd November to 3rd December 2009. The fair presents glimpses into the life and culture of Goa and an opportunity for festival delegates and local population to celebrate this festival of Cinema.
The Festival would conclude on December 03, 2009 with presentation of Golden and Silver Peacock Awards for Best Film and Best Director, the Special Jury Awards as also the Vasudha and Golden Lamp Tree Awards for the short films. Malayalam Star Mammootty will be the Chief Guest at the Closing Ceremony.