Bachchan, Rajinikanth special guests at IFFI opening

Cinema legends Amitabh Bachchan and Rajinikanth will set the opening of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) 2019 in Goa. (PTI Photos)

Cinema legends Amitabh Bachchan and Rajinikanth will set the opening of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) 2019 alight on Wednesday, with the host of the evening, filmmaker Karan Johar, adding a dose of entertainment as the movie extravaganza marks its golden jubilee.

Over 250 films from 76 countries will be screened during the festival, with Russia being the partner country this year.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar, Union minister Shripad Naik, Bachchan and Rajinikanth will be the guests of honour at the opening, to be held at Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Indoor Stadium here, Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said at a press conference here on Tuesday.

"I have made all the inspections, the preparations are complete," Sawant said.

He said they received 9,000 registrations, out of which 7,000 were confirmed.

The estimated cost of the festival is about Rs 40 crore -- Rs 18 crore borne by the government of Goa and around Rs 22-23 crore by the I&B ministry, he added.

During the opening ceremony, Rajinikanth will be conferred with the Special Icon of Golden Jubilee award, while Bachchan's seven to eight films, including "Sholay", will be screened throughout the festival, which concludes on November 28.

A seven-minute film on former defence minister and Goa chief minister late Manohar Parrikar will also be screened at the inauguration.

Celebrated French actor Isabelle Huppert will be conferred with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

In its golden jubilee year, the festival will also screen 50 films by 50 female filmmakers to acknowledge the contribution of women in cinema.

The 50th edition IFFI will have a special section on Goa under which seven local films would be screened.

As many as 12 films, made in different languages about 50 years ago, will also be screened.

In a first, the movie gala will screen films with audio description for the visually impaired.

Several film stars and about 10,000 movie lovers are expected to participate in the film festival this year.

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