There will be no Khan at the 41st International Film Festival of India (IFFI) this year. But there will be lots of good films to watch. The festival flags off in Goa on November 22 and continues till December 2.
Many big Bollywood names were expected to attend the 10-day festival but the Directorate of Film Festival has to be content with Manoj Bajpayee, Manisha Koirala, Rahul Bose, Rahul Roy, Raj Babbar, Padmapriya and Bengali superstar Prosenjit. Jaya Prada, Sridevi and Jeetendra may also visit Goa since their film, Tohfa, is being screened as part of Dada Saheb Phalke winner D Ramanaidu’s retrospective.
Industry veteran Yash Chopra will inaugurate IFFI with Raima Sen will be the ‘thali’ girl and South superstar Vikram will be the chief guest at the closing ceremony.
A total of 18 films are in competition this year, which includes two Indian entries, Vihir and Just Another Love Story.
Actor Revathy Menon is among a five-member international jury headed by Jerzy Antczak. Authorities are tight-lipped about the selection of films for the ‘World Cinema’ category but Om Puri’s West Is West is the opening film.
According to a senior official of ESG (Entertainment Society of Goa, one of the two organisers of the festival besides DFF), Hollywood director Ang Lee will be the star attraction. He is in India for his upcoming film, Life Of Pi and is expected to shoot it in Goa.
For the annual Master Class, leading actor Boman Irani has been roped in to discuss ‘Evolution of Comedy in Indian Cinema’.
Indian Panorama has a total 47 films, with 26 features. Mee Sindhu Tai Sapkal directed by Anant Mahadevan will be the opening film. Leaving Home, based on the musical band Indian Ocean, is the opening film in the non-feature film category. The band will perform at the festival.
In Master Stroke, films of two recent Dada Saheb Phalke winners, VK.Murthy and D Ramanaidu will be screened. In addition, four centenary tributes will be paid to Ashok Kumar, Motilal, Nadia and Raja Paranjape. Some important films of these yesteryear matinee idols will be screened.
The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting had constituted a committee to revamp the annual IFFI with the aim to make it as international and respectable as festivals at Cannes, Toronto and Venice. The committee had prepared a sketchy report and submitted to the ministry some time ago. Critics of IFFI say that unless the organisation is handed over to professionals, the goal seems far-fetched.