The long journey of 9th Jagran only Travelling Film Festival started with Inauguration of the mega event at Sirifort Auditorium II on 29th June 2018. Leading personalities associated with the world of cinema, visited 9th Jagran Film Festival at the Siri Fort Auditorium. The inaugural session of the 5 day cinematic extravaganza was inaugurated by Union Minister for law & justice and electronic and information technology, Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, leading actress Tabu and Festival director Mayank Shekhar. On this occasion actor-director-producer Pooja Bhatt, director Rahul Rawail, Santiago Ruy Sanchez (Culture Affairs head, Embassy of Mexico & India), Sh. Sanjay Gupta (Editor in Chief & CEO, Jagran Prakashan Ltd.) among others were also present.

On this occasion, Union Minister for law & justice and electronic and information technology, Sh. Ravi Shankar Prasad said, “I have always felt that films are the biggest bridge to connect mankind. When we are watching a film, nationality and language do not matter. I never read the subtitles of films, because the emotions are common which bind us together irrespective of the language and the country. As I&B minister in the last BJP Govt., I have been to Cannes and other International Film festivals of the world along with Indian film stars like, Tabu and others. Addressing Tabu, he told her that “I would have missed you, had I not come for the inauguration of this festival.” He further emphasized that the film industry must make full use of information technology for making world class films”.

The master talk between Tabu and Mayank Shekhar about the actress’ three-decade journey of success in Bollywood, followed by the formal inauguration and screening of Vikas Chandra’s short film “Maya” made the highlights of the first day. The audiences were entertained by the special screening of 3 Idiotas, the Mexican remake of the popular Bollywood movie 3 Idiots, which was shown as the inaugural film of the festival.  In addition, the Indian Documentary Feature, The Argumentative Indian by Suman Ghosh and Indian Features like III Smoking Barrels (Assames Film) were screened on the first day.  In fact the film, III Smoking Barrels was selected by me as a member of the Jury for Indian PANORMA 2016.

Mr Basant Rathore, Senior Vice President, Jagran Prakashan said, “I am elated to be a part of the 9th edition of the Jagran Film Festival which is truly India’s only Traveling Film Festival. We have successfully presented a series of local and international film screenings every year, and tried to reach the local movie enthusiasts and create the sense of cinema with the Indian audience. The purpose of the festival is to spread the cinema culture.”

Festival Director, Mayank Shekhar said, “We are delighted as ever to host the 9th edition of the much-acclaimed, JFF.  This is my first year as festival director at JFF. We’re all learning as we go along. The first lesson I’ve learnt so far is that putting together a film festival is a lot like putting together a newspaper. We are proud to host films on grandeur amid real fanfare. Mayank informed that we have received about 3500 entries from more than 100 countries all over the world and 400 films selected out of the above lot in various genres will be screened in 18 states.

The India Features Competition included award-winning films such as, Shoojit Sircar’s October, Reema Das’s Village Rock Stars (The best National Film Award Winner last year), Atanu Ghosh’s Mayurakshi and Lijo Jose Pelissery’s Ee. Ma. Yau in varied languages. Also the homage screening for legendary actor Shashi Kapoor’s New Delhi Times were screened. “Ask The Sexpert” by Vaishali Sinha, Being Bhaijaan, a documentary on Salman Khan and For The Love Of a Man, a documentary on Rajnikanth were screened on the second day at the documentary competition along with Thematic Special documentaries in the Fan section.

The 2018 edition of the Jagran Film Festival that will connect 18 cities and showcase over 400 films, commencing from Delhi and tour to other Indian cities like Kanpur, Lucknow, Allahabad, Varanasi, Patna, Dehradun, Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Bhopal, Indore, Gorakhpur, Agra, Ludhiana, Hissar, Meerut and Raipur before concluding in Mumbai in September.

The second day of the 9th Jagran Film Festival continued to receive warmth and applauds by its audience. The highlight of the day was the recollection and the celebration of 20 years of the film Satya with a special conversation between Saurabh Shukla and Mayank Shekhar. The day also saw a ‘live’ panel discussion involving India’s top journalists, related to the world of cinema and its mega-effects. The journalists engaged in the discussion were Rahul Dev, Vartika Nanda, Bhupendra Chaubey and Anant Vijay led by Mayank Shekhar.

Among the other celebrities that attended the festival were Actor-director-theatre artist Yashpal Sharma during the premiere of his film Karim Mohammed along with the child artist Harshit Rajawat, Director Kamal Swaroop, Director Sanal Kumar Sasidharan, Director Raj Vitthalpura and Director Zakaria Edayur.

Actor-Director-Theatre Artist Yashpal Sharma said, “This is my third time at the Jagran Film Festival and I am very thrilled that my film Karim Mohammed is having an exclusive premiere at 9th JFF which is to be released on August 24th this year. Film festivals like Jagran Film Festival are a great platform for doing movie premieres as this film festival has a broader reach as it is India’s largest travelling festival.”

The audience was seen enjoying the recent Bollywood release, October starring Varun Dhawan .The other films screened were Steven Spielberg’s ‘The Post’, Lijo Jose Pelissery’s Ee.Ma.Yau, Reema Das’ Village Rockstars and Sanal Kumar Sasidharan’s S Durga. Shashi Kapoor’s Homage In-progression, the 9th edition of the Jagran Film Festival received a wide audience response as they continue to watch the whole variety of movies telecasted from across the world, of different genres. The third-day highlights included an interactive session with Director-Writer Tejas Deoskar. He spoke in volumes on the Jagran Film Festival initiative, while engaging his audience on his successful professional stint in Marathi Cinema. Among other celebrities was also Director of ‘Ashwatthama’, Pushpendra Singh.

Day 3 of JFF saw special screenings of films like Madhuri Dixit starrer ‘Bucket List’. It garnered the same attention and enthusiasm from the audience as it was when it was released on celluloid. The event also showcased a special screening of ‘Being Bhaijaan’, a documentary on the heartthrob of Bollywood, Salman Khan. Followed by a screening of ‘For the love of a Man’, a documentary on the legendary actor, Rajnikanth. The festival also showcased Khushboo Ranka &Vinay Ranka’s ‘An Insignificant Man’ and Shoojit Sircar’s ‘October’.

The highlight of the 4th day was the interaction of Sanjay Mishra with the audience on the screening of his film ‘Kadvi Hawa’. The audience was charmed by his presence and his witty sense of humour. This was followed by the interaction between Vineet Singh & Zoya Hussain, the starcast of the film ‘Mukkabaaz’. Director Onir, graced his film screening of ‘Raising the bar’, following a meaningful interaction with the audience. Among other celebrities present were Director Rakhee Sandilya and Director Neelam Singh.

On showcase were Kalki Koechlin and Sumeet Vyas starrer ‘Ribbon’, Pushpendra Singh’s ‘Ashwatthama’ and Onir’s ‘Kuchh Bheege Alfaaz’. There was also a lineup of short films from the Hot Shorts category which included ‘Afternoon Clouds’, ‘Macher Jhol’, ‘Tokri’ and ‘Aaba’. People cherished the experience of watching their favorite Bollywood stars on the big screen once again. Indian documentaries and Indian features were also presented at the event which won instant appreciation and recognition from the audience.

A Theatre-Acting workshop by Vaman Kendra, Director of National School of Drama was also organized in Auditorium 4 on the 4thday of the festival. Mr. Vaman clarified the difference between theatre acting and cinema acting very beautifully. During the workshop Audi 4 was fully packed.

This year, Jagran Film Festival created a strong impact on the minds of its audience, who were here to witness something new and fresh in the world of cinema, The last day of the film festival in the city, was celebrated, appreciated and applauded by the huge audience in attendance. They warmly enjoyed the versatility, culture and the big variety of cinema from across the world. JFF is a one-of-its-kind festival where people get to enjoy the great diversity of India and also, cinema from the world.

Marking the last day of the festival with their esteemed presence were Divya Dutta, Adil Hussain and Sanjay Mishra. The audience received them with warmth and appreciation as they heard more about their favourite stars in both reel and real life. Among other celebrities were Director Dinesh Yadav and Miransha Naik. This particular initiative at the event premise was well-appreciated by the audience as they learnt more on the cinema from the actors themselves. The discussions were followed by the screening of the closing Film, “A Fantastic Woman”, directed by Sebastian/100min/Spanish/German.

This year, there are over 400 films from across the world, in different genres, to be shown to the cinema-loving JFF audience. Delhi chapter screened around 150 films this year. This is for the first time that a registration fee of Rs. 150/- was charged of 4 films in a day and Rs. 500/- for the full festival. I have been attending Jagran Film festival since the beginning. Every year, the standard of the festival has been improving. I have observed that this year, the festival has been very well organized and very well managed. The credit goes to the entire Jagran team, who has worked relentlessly for months together. It has been a herculean task to select the best films from such a big lot of films received in various genres in the world. Incidentally, I was also a member of the jury panel for selection of films for the 9thjagran Film Festival. Since the overall structure of Jagran Film Festival is on the pattern of IFFI and other international Film festivals , I have a feeling that the name of the Jagran Film festival should be modified as “Jagran International Film Festival “.

I have attended the complete festival at Delhi, right from inauguration till the closing film “A Fantastic Woman”. The first part of 9th Jagran film festival at Sirifort has been a great success. I congratulate the organizers of Jagran Prakashan Ltd,  specially, Sanjay Gupta, Editor in Chief and CEO , Basant Rathore, Sr. Vice President, Vinod Shrivastava, Chief General Manager, Prashant Kashyap, Deputy General Manager, Mayank Shekhar, Festival Director, Vibhor Kwatra, Print/Technical. Rahul Seth, Mauli Singh & Bhavika, Programming/Coordination Team, Rahul Wanchoo, Saikeen Salman &Rahul Kathuria, PR/Sponsorship Team and Ashish Chaudhary, City Coordinator on the grand success of the festival in Delhi. I wish a great success of the entire 9th Jagran film Festival till it concludes at Mumbai in September this year.

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