Utpal Borpujari

September 21, 2009

40th IFFI to have Africa, Latin America, Baltic focus

By Utpal Borpujari

Rs 70 lakh in cash prizes, categories focusing on different geographic locations of the world and a competitive section comprising some highly creative cinematic works will mark the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) which completes the important milestone of 40 editions this year.

Among the special attractions of the 40th IFFI will be Focus sections on the African continent, Latin America and the Baltic nations of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, Directorate of Film Festivals (DFF) director S M Khan told Deccan Herald here.

The festival, one of the oldest in the world, will complete its 40th edition this year even though it was first held in 1952. The reason behind this is that the festival became an annual event only from 1975 onwards. The festival found its permanent venue in Goa in 2003, before which it used to a travelling festival.

“This year being an important milestone for IFFI, we decided to have these regional focuses on Africa, Latin America and the Baltic region, since if we go countrywise, it will take many years to cover these important these regions which are producing some very interesting cinema in recent years,” Khan said.

Among other major attractions at this IFFI will be a special section on animation films, apart from, of course, the Indian Panorama section comprising the best of Indian cinema made in the last one year.

“We are in the process of composing a high-profile jury for the Competition section of the festival, in which 14 films from Asia, Asia-Pacific, Africa and Latin America regions will compete for the top prizes, along with two films from India,” Khan said.

Interestingly, the Most Promising Director Award category has been done away with this year, and its has been replaced with the Best Director Award, so that all directors of the competition films, whether veteran or new, become eligible for the award.

While the Best Film Award winner will get Rs 40 lakh in cash along with the Golden Peacock, the Best Director will get a Silver Peacock and a cash prize of Rs 15 lakh. The Special Jury Award, to be given to a film or to an individual for his or her artistic contribution, also comprises a Silver Lotus and a cash prize of Rs 15 lakh, Khan said.

The Indian Panorama section, comprising 26 feature films (including five that will be picked up from a pre-selected number of mainstream films proposed by the Film Federation of India) and 21 non-feature films, is expected to be announced by mid-October.

(Published in Deccan Herald, www.deccanherald.com, www.deccanheraldepaper.com, 21-09-2009)



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