I came to Goa from New Delhi to attend 48th IFFI . This is my 35th IFFI as a regular delegate since 1983. Over a long period of 35 years, I had the honour to become Preview Committee member of IFFIs held in 2009, 2010, 2014 and 2015. I also had the privilege of becoming the Jury Member of Indian Panorma of IFFI 2016, last year. I also happened to be the Astt Editor of IFFI Daily in 2011. I have observed many changes and improvements in 48th IFFI over previous years.

This is the first IFFI of Ms. Smirti Irani, Hon’ble Minister of I&B, after taking over as Minister Of I&B. It appears that she has brought great luck to 48th IFFI. It is for the first time that Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Stadium was almost full during the Inaugural ceremony. During last four years, this stadium was never full by more than 50%. The stage was set up beautifully this year. The format of the entire function was totally changed. The usual “vote of thanks” was not given. The entry of Shah Rukh Khan on the stage was totally in a new style and dramatic. The “rope dance” was the novelty of the show. The entire cultural programme was excellent. It is for the first time that that a record number of most popular celebrities and superstars like, Shah Rukh Khan, Shahid Kapoor, Sridevi, Nana Patekar, Anupam Kher, Prasoon Joshi, Subhash Ghai, Sudhir Mishra,Vishal Bhardwaj, Vani Tripathi and many more graced the Opening ceremony. I have never seen such a large galaxy of stars coming to any IFFI/Filmotsav so far.

It is for the first time that 48th IFFI was conducted by NFDC instead of DFF (Directorate of Film Festivals /Ministry of I&B), as desired by I&B Minister. Also for the first time this year, CM dinner was hosted first,after opening ceremony instead of being hosted on the last day after the closing ceremony, as per the earlier practice.

It is for the first time that  both the inaugural films, (Beyond the Clouds) directed by  Iranian director (MAJID MAJIDI) and closing films (Thinking of Him)  directed by Argentinian director Pablo Cesar were the co-productions of India with Iran and Argentina. The festival had a large number of internationally acclaimed films from renowned filmmakers, besides 6 Master Classes and 8 Panel discussions. It is for the first time that the films of the Biennale college 2017, Venezia segment of oldest International Film festival of the world,Venice International film Festival were included in 48th IFFI.

IFFI DAILY bulletin which was being published by DFF for many years,was discontinued. “Peacock” daily bulletin which was also being published by ESGsimultaneously for few years, along with IFFI Daily, became the main bulletin in 48th IFFI.

The Indian Panorma Jury was initially headed by Sujoy Ghosh. After his resignation due to controversy on two films, Rahul Rawail was made the Chairman. There were total 26 feature films and 16 non feature films. Non feature film Jury was headed by Sudhir Mishra. This time there were 9 Marathi and 6 Hindi films, which is very unusual. Similarly for the ICFT-UNESCO Gandhi Medal, there were 4 Indian films out of total 8 films in the competition.

It is for the first time that mixed “Virtual Reality” sidebar was set up in Maquninez Place building, under New Initiative. Two films, “Hindi Medium” and “Secret Superstar’ were screened under , Accessible India section.  48th IFFI had sections like, “Restored Classics”, James Bond Retro, showing 9 films, BRICS Film Festival award winning films. This time, Canada was chosen as the country Focus. Atom Egyon, Canada’s one of the most Celebrated art house Director, was conferred with the “Life Time Achievement Award’.

Super star, Amitabh Bachchan has been rightly chosen for the Best Film Personality of the year award by the Ministry of I&B. 3 films of Dada Saheb Phalke award winner of the year K Vishwanath, were screened. Homage was paid to a large number of film stalwarts like, Vinod Khanna, Kundan Shah, Om Puri, Reema Lagoo and Tom Altar among others.

6 Master Classes and 8 panel discussions by eminent filmmakers were conducted. These were largely attended by the film lovers .Vani Tripathy, actress and Steering committee member of 48th IFFI, was the Moderator of two Panel discussions.

Open Forum sessions conducted by Indian Documentary Producers Associations (IDPA) on 25, 26 and 27th Nov. in Old GMC Building were excellent. The 2nd day was moderated my Resident Editor, Shashwat Gupta Ray and 3rd day by Mike Pandey, President IDPA and 3 time Green Oscar Award Winner.

Proper registration counter has been set up this time, outside Kala Academy. The collection of delegate cards and the Kit ,has been very well organized. The complete kit has been made available well in time this time. Even the design of the strap of the delegate card has been beautifully modified this time.

The thickness and size of the “Official Catalogue of 48th IFFI 2017” has been reduced, which has been growing bigger and bigger in the previous year. ‘Kaleidoscope’ section has been removed in this catalogue.

It is for the first time that a circular LCD wall has been setup in the center of the Inox courtyard, where films of various countries being shown continuously. The circular LCD has been mounted on a newly erected steel structure. This is a new attraction of the complex and looks very attractive at night. Besides regular film shows, Projector mapping is adding its own attraction.

48th IFFI has been a great success and I congratulate Ministry of I&B, NFDC and ESG on the success of 48 h IFFI.

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