50th edition of IFFI begins in Goa

Preparations at Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Indoor Stadium on the eve of IFFI 2019 inauguration at Panaji in Goa on Tuesday. DH Photo/ Pushkar V

Goa has been decked with images and sculptures of the peacock, the official mascot of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI).

This is the first edition of the festival to take place after the death of Manohar Parrikar, who was the chief minister of Goa in 2004, when IFFI took permanent residence in Goa. Parrikar is known to have taken a special interest in the festival since its arrival in his state.

The opening ceremony of the festival will commence on Wednesday at 3 pm at Shyama Prakash Mukherjee Stadium in Panaji. The event will be hosted by Bollywood director Karan Johar.

Actor Amitabh Bachchan is the guest of honour at the event, while Tamil actor Rajinikanth will be awarded the 'Icon of the Year'.

The opening ceremony will be attended by multiple national and international celebrities. Among them are Sholay director Ramesh Sippy and well-known Malayalam and Hindi filmmaker Priyadarshan, who is also the chairman of the feature film jury.

This year, the number of venues was increased to four from last year's three because of an increase in the number of delegates and the number of films shown.

During a press conference chaired by Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Tuesday, it was revealed that a total of 9,300 registrations of delegates have been made so far, approximately 35% more than in last year's festival.

Responding to a question on the total expenditure made by governments on IFFI, Sawant said the government of Goa had approximately spent Rs 18 crore. Speaking at the same press conference, Festival Director Chaitanya Prasad said the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting had spent approximately Rs 20-23 crore.

This year's festival, being the golden jubilee edition, brings together an ambitious mix of new national and international films, as well as the often forgotten classics of Indian cinema.

One of the innovations introduced at IFFI this year is the e-ticket. Delegates do not carry physical tickets anymore. Their registration for a film can now be seen from the bar code on their delegate passes. There will be a counter to help senior citizens who may have an issue with the new technology.

Also, in an attempt to bring the festival to the villages in Goa, IFFI will hold mobile movie screenings in 18 constituencies across north and south Goa.

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