Bollywood heartthrob Shah Rukh Khan will open The 42nd International Film Festival of India in Goa on Wednesday with actor Raima Sen, actor Prem Chopra and directors Sudhir Mishra and Nikhil Advani in attendance.
Portugal's World War II drama, The Consul of Bordeaux by Francisco Manso and Joao Correa, will set the Festival by the River Mandovi sailing. The story of a man who saved the lives of 30,000 people, including 10, 000 Jews, from Hitler's savagery forms the plot of this compelling movie.
The Festival, to run till December 2, will close with another heroic saga, that of the Burmese political activist, Aung Saang Sui Kyi, in Luc Besson's The Lady, which recently premiered at the Doha Tribeca Film Festival. Both Besson and the film's lead star, Michelle Yeoh, will walk the Red Carpet on the closing night.
Between the opening and the closing, hundred-odd movies will be screened including 14 in competition. Salim Ahamed's national-award-winning Malayalam work, Adaminte Makan Abu will be one of the competing entries, with the others coming in from Iran, Japan, Australia, Poland, Germany, Spain and Iceland among others.
Judging these will be a five-member jury headed by the renowned Indian auteur-director, Adoor Gopalakrishnan. One of the most critically acclaimed directors after Satyajit Ray, Gopalakrishnan's cinema has been celebrated the world over for its touching sensitivity and profound social concerns. Often examining the individual minutely, he lays bare his pain and pleasure to help us understand the community, invariably Kerala's, the region he belongs to and is most comfortable with.
A pioneer of the Indian New Wave in the early 1970s, Gopalakrishnan is known for his leisurely pace, having made only 11 features and a few documentaries in close to 40 years, but these films are extraordinarily reflective and have travelled to most movie festivals across continents fetching him innumerable awards and attracting overwhelming popular appreciation.
The other jurors are: Dan Wolman (filmmaker from Israel), Lee Yong Kwan (Director of the Busan International Film Festival), Laurance Kardish (Director of MOMA, USA) and Tahmineh Milani (move director from Iran).
A Lifetime Achievement Award for French helmer Bertrand Tavernier, master classes and retrospectives of Luc Besson and Phil Noyce will be some of the Festival's other highlights.
Besides these, a panorama of the latest Indian movies in several languages will be screened.
(Gautaman Bhaskaran will be covering the International Film Festival of India at Panaji in Goa for Hindustan Times.)