34th IFFI 2003 starts at Delhi | india | Hindustan Times
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34th IFFI 2003 starts at Delhi

The 34th IFFI 2003 finally got off the turf amid security arrangements that would have given Bill Clinton's personal security cover a run for their money, reports Manjula Negi.

india Updated: Oct 10, 2003 00:43 IST

The 34th International film festival of India (IFFI 2003) finally got off the turf amid security arrangements (read chaos) that would have given Bill Clinton's personal security cover a run for their money.

A host of film personalities and politicians including the entire star cast of Dr Chandraprakash Dwivedi's Pinjar (the opening film) were in attendance at the Siri Fort Auditorium. Attended by the Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani who lit the traditional lamp assisted by the 'thali' girl Kareena Kapoor, the Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Ravi Shankar Prasad and the guest of honour Kamal Hassan, the inauguration got off to a tame start.

The internationally renowned Polish filmmaker Krszystof Zanussi - chairperson of the Asian Film Competition Jury, was present along with other jury members - the Hungarian filmmaker Istvan Gaal, Chinese director Peng Xiaolian, the Indian filmmaker Girish Kasarvalli and senior journalist Gautaman Bhaskaran.

While speeches were kept to a minimum at Hassan's behest who mentioned that as a cinebuff he preferred them short because they did little except bring on uncontrolled yawns, Advani did mention that India had the potential to reach out to the world through the medium of cinema.

It is indeed a relief that the festival organizers have woken up to the fact that India's only international film event deserves to be kick-started with a mainstream Indian film rather than any international entry - no matter how prestigious. Pinjar, though a skeletal representation of the original work is commendable for its research and direction.

Whether this turns out to be the last IFFI in Delhi (what with Goa being touted as the permanent venue beginning 2004) remains to be seen. What is more important however, is that IFFI resurrect its sagging fortunes by bringing good international fare that cinebuffs have been missing out on for a while now. Let's pray that the 125 odd participating entries this time don't belie those hopes.