48TH EDITION OF IFFI OPENS WITH INDIAN FILM BEYOND THE CLOUDS DIRECTED BY VETERAN IRANIAN DIRECTOR MAJID MAJIDI
The film by legendary Iranian filmmaker Majid Majidi will open 48th International Film Festival of India in Goa on the 20th of November, 2017. The two hour Indian Masterpiece was also Nominated for the Best Film Award at the London Film Festival 2017. Apart from marking the official debut of the young talent Ishaan Khattar into the world of cinema, this film is also the first Indian film by Majid Majidi. Beyond the Clouds also features the South Indian actress, Malavika Mohanan in one of the lead roles.
This might perhaps be the first time that an international film maker of repute and acclaim, has shot and produced his entire film in India with an Indian producer and a complete Indian cast & crew.
Beyond The Clouds revolves around the adoration of love, life and human relationships between a brother and sister which takes place the ever bustling city of Mumbai. This particular film, is a trilingual one, i.e. it will have dialogues in three languages which are English, Tamil and Hindi. Bollywood veteran and seven time National Film Award winner Vishal Bhardwaj handled the scripting for the Hindi dialogues. He applauded Mr Majid’s understanding of cinema and respect to the language.
Majid Majidi is a prominent Iranian film director who has an illustrious career with a long list of awards and nominations like the 1998 Oscar nomination for the best film and the Grand Prix Des Ameriques award at the 25th Montreal Film Festival, 2001. His movie, “The Song of Sparrows” won the Special Award for Best Foreign Language Film by National Board of Review, New York 2008. Other than these, he is best known for films like Children of Heaven & Children of Paradise which are loved by crowds all over.
Oscar winner A.R Rahman was roped in to compose the music for the film. Rahman and Majid have worked together previously on the film ‘Muhammad: The Messenger of God’, which won the Cinematographer-Director Duo Award at the The International Film Festival of the Art of Cinematography Camerimage 2015.
The film will be have its India premiere post the Inaugural ceremony on the 20th of November. Majidi, along with the lead actors, Oscar winning music director A.R. Rahman and Vishal Bhardwaj is expected to attend the premiere on 20 th November 2017.
The 48th IFFI is the first festival being held under the ages and guidance of Ms. Smriti Irani, Hon’ble Minister of Information and Broadcasting. Sh. Manohar Parrikar, Chief Minister of Goa, is however, the architect of IFFI in Goa. The preparations for the 48th IFFI are at full swing at Goa. I am sure that the quality of the films in the 48 th IFFI will be excellent. It will have a large number of well acclaimed award winning films from all over the world.
Goa is going to host 48th International Film Festival of India from 20 to 28th Nov this year. This will be the 14th International Film Festival of India to be held in Goa in series, the first being in the year 2004. Goa is the only state to have this unique privilege of hosting IFFI continuously for 14 years in one state.
The first International Film Festival of India (IFFI) was held in Mumbai in 1952. After travelling through various cities and undergoing various organizational and structural changes, it finally reached Goa in 2004. With the BJP Govt. coming in the centre, Goa was finally declared as the permanent venue for hosting the International Film Festivals of India in 2014.
It is for the2nd time that, 48th IFFI at Goa will be held only for 9 days i.e from 20th to 28th Nov 2016, as compared to 11 days in previous years. In fact there have been many changes in duration and the dates of IFFI/ Filmotsavs ever since I was given accreditation of delegate status by Ministry of I&B/ DFF in the year 1983.This was the time when there was no registration fee as compared to Rs. 1000/- now. Initially, IFFIs were held in the month of Jan every year from 3rd to 17th Jan for 15 days at Vigyan Bhavan. Jan is the coldest month of the year in Delhi. One could see delegates wearing red/ brown colour monkey woolen caps and wrapped in woolen shawls during IFFIs at that time. 9th IFFI was the the first IFFI to be held in newly constructed Sirifort Auditorium in 1983. 10th IFFI was, however, held at VigyanBhawan again. All the subsequent IFFIs were held at Sirifort Auditoria.
It was in 1987, during 11th IFFI at Sirifort that the dates of the IFFI were changed as 10th to 24th Jan in place of 3rd to 17 th Jan earlier. This continued for 3 years up to 1989. The duration of the iffis was reduced from 15 days to 11days i.e 10th to 20th Jan during IFFIs held from 1990 to 2000. The dates of the IFFI held in 2002 at Sirifort were preponed as 1st Oct to 10th Oct 2002. 32nd IFFI proposed to be held at Bangalore was cancelled due to draught conditions in Karnataka. The dates of IFFI 2003 at Sirifort were again changed as 9th Oct to 19th Oct 2003.The first IFFI at Goa was held in Nov 2004. All the IFFIs at Goa from 2005 to 2011 were held from 22/23/24 Nov to 02/03/04 Dec. The dates were again changed to 20 Nov to 30 Nov for IFFIs 2012 to 2015.
The first IFFI was held in Mumbai (New Empire Cinema) from 24th January to 1st February, 1952. The entire festival was organized by Films Division with the patronage of the first Prime Minister of India Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru. The festival was subsequently taken to Chennai, Delhi & Kolkata. In all, it had about 40 feature and 100 short films. The festival was non-competitive in nature. It had 23 countries including United States.
The Indian entries for the festival were Awara (Hindi), Pataal Bhairavi (Telegu), Amar Bhoopali (Marathi) and Babla (Bengali). This was the first International Film Festival held anywhere in Asia. The well known films shown during the festival were; Bicycle Thief, Miracle of Milan & Open City from Italy. Yukiwarisoo (Japan), Dancing Fleese (UK), The River (USA) and Fall of Berlin (USSR). It was for the first time that the Indian Film Industry was exposed to a vast range of outstanding post –war era films.
It was only in 1974, festival held in Delhi (competitive), that the Indian International Film Festival received recognition by the Paris based International Film Producers Association (FIAPF). India adopted a permanent insignia at its fifth Festival held in Delhi (Competitive) in 1975. This insignia comprises a peacock, India’s National Bird, with a permanent motto of the Festival ‘VASUDHAIVA KUTUMBAKUM’ (The whole world is a family). The Sixth Festival was held in Mumbai in 1976 which was competitive.
It was decided by Govt. of India, to hold a non-competitive festival of Festival Films (Filmotsav) alternating with IFFI. While the Filmotsavs were organized at major film producing Centres of India to promote film culture, IFFI was held in New Delhi only. The first Filmotsav was held in 1978 in Chinnai. Indian Panorma section was also introduced in this festival.
The main stream cinema section was introduced in 1987. No film was considered worth giving Golden Peacock Award this year. It was therefore decided to do away with competition sections and all festivals from 1989 onwards would be non competitive.
As such the 1989 festival held in New Delhi was non-competitive. The information section was re-christened as ‘Cinema of World’ during 1989. During 1990, in Kolkata Festival, the world ‘Filmotsav’ was discontinued and named as IFFI. Celebration of ‘100 years of world Cinema’ was done in 1995 in Mumbai (non-competitive festival).
The ‘Competition Section’ was reintroduced in 1996, first confined to Asian Women directors only and then extended to all Asian directors including men from 1998, and finally extended to Asia, Africa and Latin America Cinema in 2005 (36th IFFI).
The most important feature of 39th IFFI was the screening of a popular film of silent era ‘KALIA MARDAN’ by Dada Saheb Phalke, with LIVE BACKGROUND MUSIC. It was a unique & thrilling experience to watch this Live Background Music for the first time in the history of IFFIs
The most important feature of 40th IFFI (2009) was the exhibition of Magic Lantern show by Patwardhan Brothers at Kala Academy. During 41st IFFI held at Goa in 2010, two more Awards; Best Actor and Best Actress were re-introduced.
Since 43rd IFFI was held in the Centenary Year of Indian Cinema, a new award, called CENTENARY AWARD was instituted by Ministry of I&B, which will be given to the film for BEST TECHNOLOGICAL EXCELLENCE.
45th IFFI was held at Goa from 20th Nov to 30 th Nov 2014. Since Goa was declared as the permanent venue for IFFIs, in 2014 the overall administrative arrangements were better. The Opening and Closing functions were held in newly constructed Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee stadium in 2014. A new award, called “ICFT-UNESCO Felini Medal” was instituted in IFFI 2015. This first UNESCO/Felini award was won by Indian film, “Cinemawala” directed by Kaushik Ganguli. The name of this award has been changed to “ICFT-UNESCO Gandhi Medal” in the 47 th IFFI 2016.
I wish Ministry of I&B, the chief Minister of Goa, , MR. Sunit Tandon Festival Director, C. Senthil Rajan, Director/Directorate of Film Festivals and Entertainment Society of Goa and their officers and staff a great grand success of 48th IFFI 2017.