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Shah Rukh Khan opens 42nd IFFI amidst protests

Goa, November 23, 2011. The 42nd International Film Festival of India (IFFI), Goa, was opened by Bollywood’s King Shah Rukh Khan amidst heavy security bandobast, and black flag waiving by a group of Save Old Goa protestors.

The Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting Ambika Soni, Goa CM Digambar Kamat, Rituparna Sengupta, Mayor of Margao, Susheela Naik, festival director Shankar Mohan, ESG’s CEO Manoj Shrivastav, and a host of bureaucrats, politicians, film industry associations, films stars, filmakers and tecnicians, cinema aficionados, and the media were present in large numbers.

The opening ceremony was conducted by an assured Tisca Chopra and Rahul Khanna. While welcoming the invitees and festival delegates the CM Digambar Kamat expressed a great sense of pride in bringing the opening ceremony of teh 42nd IFFI to Margao’s Ravindra Bhavan Auditorium, a location almost an hour’s drive from IFFI’s main venue at Panaji. He referred to the Golden Jubilee of the liberation of Goa in this regard. The struggle for Goa’s liberation was started in Margao at the call of Ram Manohar Lohia that led to the intervention of the Indian government and the end of the Portuguese rule.

Ambika Soni’s speech followed. She is one of the best informed I&B ministers about the issues of the film industry. She talked about the need to further develop the film market and turning Goa into an important destination in the global film calendar. She said, “Let IFFI become truly an international event- an international people’s festival.” SRK read a prepared speech which was philosophical, and erudite. He said that cinema is the most modern art of storytelling ‘a collective focus addressed to all, open to all and including all’. He further added that festivals like IFFI are a manifestation of human happiness and should be seen as a sharing of India as people gather to share their joys and creativity. He concluded that an honest effort is critical for producing anything of value and he complimented the organizers for making that honest effort. The Life Time Achievement award was conferred upon French film maker Bertrand Tavernier.

The event showcased an extempore painting by Shri Vilas Nayak on Bertrand Tavernier followed by a screening of a two minute clip on the acclaimed filmmaker’s work. Ambika Soni presented to him a certificate, a cheque, and a scroll. The event showcased the cultural diversity of the country through an eclectic song, dance and music programme, starting with the rendition of ‘Vandematram’ featuring seven dancers dancing on slow paced music. It moved on to an Odissi dance recital by Subhada Varadkar, a Lavani performance by Karishma G, a Kathak recital by Aditi Mangaldas and culminated culminated in to Saptarang Tarana which brought together all the performing artists together to showcase the ‘Unity in Diversity’ of the country.The ceremony also showcased a mesmerizing performance by the Shillong Chamber Choir which presented to the audience.

The panel of jury led by the Chairman Adoor Gopalakrishnan, and including Dan Wolman from Israel, Lawrence Kardish from USA, Lee Yong Kwan from the Busan Film Festival and Tahmineh Milani from Iran was felicitated by Rituparna Sengupta. The festival ended with a vote of thanks by the festival director Shankar Mohan. This was followed by the opening film THE CONSUL OF BORDEAUX by Francisco Manso and Joao Correa. The cast and crew of the Portuguese film were also presented and felicitated.