The 54th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) is set to unfold in Goa from November 20 to 28, 2023. This cinematic extravaganza, under the aegis of the Indian Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, promises to be a star-studded celebration of world cinema. Union Minister Shri Anurag Thakur announced the event, highlighting India’s growing influence in the global media and entertainment industry. Here’s a glimpse of what to expect from this grand event:
Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement Award:
A prestigious feature of IFFI is the Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement Award (SRLTA), presented to honor Excellence in World Cinema. This year, the legendary Hollywood actor and producer, Michael Douglas, will grace the event to accept this coveted award. His illustrious career spans over 50 years, during which he has earned numerous accolades, including 2 Oscars and 5 Golden Globe Awards. His contributions to the film industry and his humanitarian efforts have made him an international figure.
A Diverse Film Showcase:
The festival will feature over 270 films from around the world, screened across four venues in Goa. The ‘International Section’ of IFFI will showcase 198 films, including 13 World Premiers, 18 International Premiers, 62 Asia Premiers, and 89 India Premiers. The festival received a record-breaking 2926 entries from 105 countries, reflecting its global appeal.
This section of IFFI will highlight 25 feature films and 20 non-feature films from India. The opening film in the feature section is the Malayalam film “Aattam,” while the non-feature section features “Andro Dreams” from Manipur.
Celebrating OTT Content:
In recognition of the flourishing content from OTT (Over-The-Top) platforms, IFFI introduces the “Best Web Series (OTT) Award.” This new category aims to acknowledge and encourage the creators of web series. Thirty-two entries from 15 OTT platforms will compete for this honor, which includes certificates and a cash prize of 10 lakhs, to be announced at the closing ceremony.
Highlights of International Film Section:
The International Film Section at IFFI will feature eight curated sections, including notable films like:
- Opening Film: “Catching Dust” – A Drama/Thriller from the United Kingdom, with an international cast.
- Closing Film: “The Featherweight” – A 2023 American biographical sports drama film, offering a unique take on the concept of stardom.
International Competition Section:
Fifteen feature films, including 12 international and 3 Indian entries, will compete for the coveted Best Film Award, the Golden Peacock, along with a cash prize of INR 40 lakhs. The jury will also determine winners in categories such as Best Director, Best Actor (Male), Best Actor (Female), and the Special Jury Prize.
Best Feature Film Debut Director:
In this section, five international and two Indian films will vie for the Silver Peacock award, which includes a cash prize of 10 lakhs and a certificate.
The jury panel for the competition section includes Mr. Shekhar Kapur, acclaimed Indian Filmmaker & Actor, Jose Luis Alcaine, awarded Spanish Cinematographer, Jerome Paillard, distinguished ex-head of Marche du Cannes, Catharine Dussart, prolific Film Producer from France, and Helen Leake, renowned Film Producer from Australia.
IFFI will feature films that align with the ideals of UNESCO, including seven international and three Indian films.
Enhancements for Inclusivity:
IFFI has taken steps to make the festival inclusive, with facilities for specially-abled delegates, including films with embedded audio descriptions and sign language.
Masterclasses and In-conversation Sessions:
Over 20 masterclasses and in-conversation sessions with prominent filmmakers, cinematographers, and actors are scheduled, offering valuable insights into the world of cinema.
Gala Premiers and Virtual IFFI:
Gala premieres, introduced last year, will be expanded, with actors and talent walking the red carpet. Additionally, virtual access to masterclasses and the opening/closing ceremony will be available through the Book My Show app.
IFFI’s Film Bazaar, which focuses on the business of cinema, will have an expanded scope with various pavilions, stalls, and sections. It will provide a platform for international collaborations and creative partnerships.
Celebrating Cultures of India:
The festival will celebrate different regions of India over five days, showcasing regional cinema and cultures.
IFFI Cine-Mela and Other Attractions:
The IFFI Cine-Mela will offer a blend of cinema, arts, culture, crafts, food, and more. Additionally, open-air screenings, caravans, and cultural events like Shigmotsav and Goa Carnival will enhance the cultural extravaganza.
Branding and Decor:
The festival venues will be adorned with branding and decor curated by the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad.
Creative Minds of Tomorrow (CMOT):
Under the CMOT initiative, young creative talents from various fields of filmmaking will be nurtured. They will participate in a film challenge and have professional classes curated by masters of cinema.