Though the theme of the 37th International Film Festival of India, Goa 2006, is Diversity of Indian Cinema and The Whole World is One Family, the press conference on Saturday to unveil plans for the festival saw a predominance of Bollywood personalities like Anupam Kher, Rahul Bose, Ashoke Pandit and Madhur Bhandarkar. They were present as their films featured at the festival.
So far this year's festival, which runs from November 23 to December 3, seems to have escaped the controversies that plagued it last year.
While actor-director Shashi Kapoor will be the chief guest for the opening ceremony, actor-director Aparna Sen will be the chief guest at the closing.
This year's festival, which runs from November 23 to December 3, will open with the Cannes winner Volver by Pedro Almodovar and close with another Cannes winner Babel by Mexican director Alenjandro Gaonzalves.
Films from around 40 countries will be presented in the Cinema of the World section. The other sections are Indian Panorama, Indian Retrospectives (late Govindan Aravindan), Indian mainstream section, NFDC Down the Ages, Indian premieres and Homages/Tributes (Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Nadira, Naushad, Dr Raj Kumar, Oduvil Unnikrishnan, P Bhanumati, Padmini, Prithviraj Kapoor, SD Burman, Satyajit Ray). The international retrospectives include Javier Bardem (Spanish actor) and Rolf De Heer.
At competitive festival, the best film will bag the Golden Peacock (Rs 10 lakh). The Silver Peacock (Rs 5 lakh) will be given to the most promising director and a special jury award will be given to the director of a film for his individual artistic contribution.
The international jury headed by Rolf De Heer of Australia, includes Jahnu Barua of India and Olivier Assayas of France.
While Saeed Mirza will head the Indian Panorama feature film jury, the non-feature jury head is Raja Mitra.
IFFI also offers a film bazaar, beach screenings, mobile cinema, children's workshops, master classes, street animation and music concerts. "There will be music launches, mahurats, a Konkani music concert, Sonu Nigam concert and Boney M show during the festival," said Paliwal at the conference, adding that Goa was prepared for the grand event keeping security and cleanliness concerns in mind.
Celebrated filmmaker Sir Richard Attenborough, whose film Gandhi is being screened as a tribute to the Satyagraha movement, is also expected to attend the festival.