New Delhi: The 46th edition of the International Film Festival of India got off to an illustrious and colourful start amidst electrifying performances evoking nostalgic memories of evolving Indian cinema through various eras. Compered by actor, singer Ayushmann Khurrana and actress Aditi Rao Hydari, the festival opening unfolded with the lighting of the traditional lamp by Governor of Goa, Smt. Mridula Sinha, the Union Minister Information and Broadcasting, Finance and Corporate Affairs, Shri Arun Jaitley, Minister of Defence, Shri Manohar Parrikar, Chief Minister of Goa, Shri Laxmikant Parsekar, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting, Shri Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Secretary Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Shri Sunil Arora , legendary Anil Kapoor as Chief Guest and the Guest of Honour illustrious music composer Ilaiyaraaja. The International Jury Chairman Shekhar Kapur and other members film director from South Korea Jeon Kyu-hwan, actress from Germany Julia Jentsch, Director/Screenwriter Michael Radford from UK and Screenwriter and Producer Suha Arraf from Israel were also present. The other Celebrities present on the occasion included Sonakshi Sinha, Kabir Khan, Dev Patel, Devika Bhise and Sushant Singh among others.
The amazingly energetic performances by Indian dancer and choreographer, Terence Lewis, specializing in contemporary dance and his troupe kept the audience spell-bound. The theme of the performances ‘Reel life to Real life’ was interwoven with intermittent on stage and on screen performances. The narration by the compere kept the audience engaged while evoking various ingredients of Indian Cinema like love, anger and social turmoil, locations etc. The opening performance – the choreographed welcome song ‘IFFI mein aapka welcome…swagatam’ and live dance performances by Anil Kapoor thrilled the audience.
During his inaugural address Shri Jaitley said that the International Film Festivals give filmmakers a chance to interact with fellow filmmakers and provide opportunities to showcase the best domestic and international talent. He said that there could not be a better opportunity than a Film Festival to celebrate the excellence of cinema. The Minster also mentioned that there would be many new initiatives this year at IFFI-2015 such as a special section on ‘World Cinema Restored Classics’ to highlight the idea of film restoration, master classes with eminent Academy members, a special “ICFT- UNESCO Fellini Prize” and Talkathons.
The Union Minister Shri Arun Jaitley jointly with Chief Guest Shri Anil Kapoor presented the Centenary Award to the great music composer Ilaiyaraaja. Indian Centenary Personality of the Year award consists of a trophy, a cash component of Rs. 10 lakh and a citation. Legend music composer Ilaiyaraaja enthralled the audience with live demonstration of his disclosure that he is the only music composer in the history of music who composes only in three notes and that too ascending ones. In his brief and crisp dialogue with the audience, he stressed upon the need to music compulsory in the schools and colleges to promote peace and harmony.
The music composer Ilaiyaraaja, predominantly composes films for the South Indian film industry since the late 1970s . The phenomenally popular music composer has entertained cine lovers with his compositions and has recently composed music for his one thousandth film. Regarded as one of the finest music composers in India, Ilaiyaraaja is also an instrumentalist, conductor, singer, and songwriter.
In his welcome address, the Chief Minister of Goa, Shri Laxmikant Parsekar said that film is not only a source of entertainment but also art and a powerful medium of education. Indian cinema reflects unity in diversity since we have the best of directors from various regions of the country making films in different languages and dialects. IFFI has grown as one of the most respectable film festivals of Asia and Goa is the most suitable destination for a festival of this genre because of its scenic beauty and hospitable people.
Earlier welcoming the guests and participants, Shri Sunil Arora, Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting briefed the audience about the details of the Festival.
Appreciating Goa as a perfect venue for IFFI, veteran actor Anil Kapoor said that the Festival offers a platform for directors and actors to showcase their work. If a film gets recognition at the Festival, it helps the film and the director/actors, he added. Highlighting the growing importance of IFFI, Anil Kapoor said that the Festival is moving from strength to strength. He paid a glowing tribute to the musical genius of Ilaiyaraaja.
Director, actor and producer of international fame and Chairman of IFFI Jury, Shekhar Kapoor said that the jury has followed an astute selection process for including the films in various sections. Every jury member expressed concern over the state of the world and gave their verdict fearlessly.
A book ‘Legends of Indian Silver Screen” brought out by Publication Division of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting was also released by the Minister, Shri Arun Jaitley. The famous Art Director and production designer Sabu Cyril is the designer for all sets and logo of IFFI 2015.