The Man Who Knew Infinity, a British film on Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan’s life, will open the 46th International Film Festival of India (IFFI), with Bollywood star Anil Kapoor and his Slumdog Millionaire actor Dev Patel in attendance. Chief Guest Kapoor will inaugurate the 11-day film carnival on November 20 in Goa.
The Matthew Brown-directed film sees Indian-origin British star Patel in the titular role along side British star Jeremy Irons as professor G H Hardy. Set against the backdrop of Cambridge, the film explores their unusual friendship that changed mathematics. “The festival will present the best of the domestic and international talent. This year the festival will showcase 187 films from 89 countries in World Cinema section along with 26 Feature and 21 Non-Feature films in Indian Panorama section,” Arun Jaitley, Minister for Information and Broadcasting, told reporters.
Announcing the Indian Panorama, Jaitley stated that the section will have a confluence of remarkable films from different languages and states. Salman Khan’s Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Cannes FIPRESCI winner Masaan, India’ Oscar entry Court are some of the films in the Indian Panorama section (Feature).
The International Competition section, to be chaired by eminent filmmaker Shekhar Kapur, features 15 movies including two Indian titles -- Kaushik Ganguly’s Cinemawala and Natoker Moto by Debesh Chatterjee -- from Indian Panorama.
Michael Radford, Julia Jentsch, Suha Arraf and Jeon Kyu-Hwan are the other jury members, who will assist Kapur.
Spain is the focus country this year with a special delegation flying down to meet Indian filmmakers here. “DFF is in touch with the film body in Spain and they are working out on the list of delegates who will be visiting FIFI,” Jaitley said.
Films of master Spanish filmmakers Carlos Saura and Pedro Almadovar along with contemporary filmmakers like Alejandro Amenabar will be screened at the festival.
The section will also feature Spanish actress Leticia Dolera’s directorial debut Requirements to Be a Normal Person.
When asked about Film Federation of India (FFI) and Federation of Western India Cine Employees’ (FWICE) decision to boycott the Goa festival, Jaitley said, “I don’t understand why anyone should disrupt an international event like IFFI. It is not a good practice.”