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B'wood rescues Goa Film Festival

Meera relived dance scenes from Indian classics Mughal-e-Azam and Umrao Jaan at the IFFI inauguration ceremony.

india Updated: Dec 03, 2005 13:00 IST

The much-maligned song and dance of Indian cinema rescued the 36th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) from blushes with a little help from an erudite Union Minister and a talented Pakistani actress as the ten-day-long film fiesta began tonight with lighting of the lamp and Bollywood's greatest romantic hero Dev Anand waving a red rose.

Bollywood actresses Amisha Patel and Urmila Matondkar, Tamil actress Shreya and Pakistani actress Meera relived dance scenes from Indian classics Mughal-e-Azam and UmraoJaan and the modern film Bombay at an overstretched opening ceremony attended by delegates from home and abroad.

Lighting the ceremonial lamp, Union Urban Development and Culture Minister S Jaipal Reddy inaugurated the festival with a call to take Indian cinema to the heights of India's Information Technology through the gateway of Goa. "There is a need for Indian cinema to go global like our IT," said Mr Reddy.

Dev Anand, whose life was described by Mr Reddy as a "celluloid odyssey", was the star of the night from the moment he walked onto the stage waving of a red rose. "It is a wonderful life in the world of make-believe away from the violence and strife in the rest of the world," said the man who is often called the Gregory Peck of India.

At the two-and-a-half-long opening ceremony conducted by host Rakshanda Khan, Mr Reddy, chief guest Dev Anand, guest of honour and Telugu mega star Chiranjeevi and Goa Chief Minister Pratapsingh Rane were assisted in the lighting of the lamp by 'thali girls' Bipasha Basu and Kannada actress Tara, the winner of the best actress national award this year.

"Films are a reflection of lands," said Chiranjeevi, who paid the ultimate compliment to Indian cinema saying "film in our country was not just another form of art, it's much more, a lifeline that holds our diverse culture together.

First Published: Nov 26, 2005 11:58 IST