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IFFI 2012 opens with LIFE OF PI, Polish filmmaker Zanussi gets Lifetime Achievement Award

The 43rd International Film Festival of India (IFFI-2012) opened at Panjim, Goa, with much fanfare. It was also the time for the newly appointed Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari to list out the initiatives of the Government of India to help the film industry. Promoting India as a destination for film shooting, and the National Film Heritage Mission during the 12th five year plan for preservation and restoration of films were just the two of the initiatives announced by him. He also talked about the co-production agreements between India and other countries.

Chief Minister of Goa Shri Manohar Parrikar reminded the invitees about how 8 years ago he took the initiative to make Goa the permanent venue of IFFI and reiterated his resolve to take it to newer heights. Uday Kumar Varma, Secretary, I&B Ministry, also spoke about Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (the whole world is one family), the theme of IFFI. Bollywood star Akshay Kumar was the chief guest. Renowned Polish filmmaker Krzysztof Zanussi got the Lifetime Achievement Award of Rs10 lakhs, a scroll, a shawl and a certificate. The maker of films like CAMOUFLAGE, FAMILY LIFE, and THE SILENT TOUCH, Zanussi said amidst standing ovation that it was the most moving moment of his life. He also declared that the 21st century will be Asia’s century and particularly of India.

Gautam Ghosh, Chairman of the International Jury and all the Jury members were felicitated Kabir Bedi and Perizaad Zorabian were the efficient hosts. The speeches and presentations were followed by a cultural programme that showcased the evolution of 100 years of Indian Cinema through a brilliant combo of music, dance and videos conceived and directed by Jahnu Barua, Saroj Khan and Sajjad Ali. Nearly two-hour cultural extravaganza came to a close with Kailash Kher’s singing.

A galaxy of Indian stars and filmmakers like Akshay Kumar, Irrfan Khan, Tabu, Om Puri, Jackie Shroff, Vinay Pathak, Suneel Darshan, Ananth Mahadevan, Tannistha Chatterji, and others were present at the opening ceremony. Among the international big names of art house cinema were Kim Ki-duk, Michael Winterbottom, Susanne Bier and others. The ceremony was followed by the screening of the Academy Award winning Director Ang Lee’s much acclaimed 3D film LIFE OF PI.

Rajesh Kumar Singh