I landed at Inox complex on 19th Nov to attend 48th IFFI. This is my 35th IFFI as a regular delegate, since 1983 when I was accredited my first delegate status 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. During 48th IFFI, I have observed many improvements and changes.

It is for the first time that 48th IFFI is being conducted by NFDC instead of DFF (Directorate of FilmFestivals /Ministry of I&B). So far all the IFFIs have been conducted by DFF. It is for the first time that that a record number of most popular celebrities and superstars like, Shah Rukh Khan, Shahid Kapoor, Anupam Kher, Sridevi, Nanpatekar, Prasoon Joshi, and many more graced the Opening ceremony.

It is for the first time that Dr. Shyma Prasad Mukherjee Stadium was almost full during the Inaugural ceremony of 48th IFFI. 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 function was changed. The usual “vote of thanks” was not there. 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 cultural programme was excellent. It is for the first time that this year, CM dinner has been hosted first, after opening ceremony instead of being hosted on the last day after the closing ceremony earlier. Opening ceremony was always followed by the dinner hosted by Minister of I&B. 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 are the co-productions of India with Iran and Argentina. The festival has 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 oldest International Film festival of the world, Venice International film Festival have been included in 48th IFFI. It is for the first time that IFFI DAILY bulletin which was being published by DFF for many years has been discontinued. “Peacock” daily bulletin which was also being published by ESG simultaneously for few years, along with IFFI Daily, has now become the main bulletin in 48th IFFI. It is for the first time that two new LCD Walls have been installed in front of the Maquninez Place building. It is for the first time that mixed “Virtual Reality” sidebar has been set up in Maquninez Place building, showing new technology. It is for the first time that the IFFI website is very rich in content and well designed.

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 first time that the lunch being served to the officials by DFF, in the old GMC building, has been discontinued. This has resulted in neat and clean space. It is for the first time that homage has been paid to a large number of film personalities (9), who left for heavenly abode last year. 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.

The Inox compound is now wide open because many stalls have been removed. Many steel stools/settees have been provided where delegates can take rest and discuss films. It is giving a total new look now.

I wish Ministry of I&B, NFDC and ESG a great success of 48th IFFI.

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