Panaji, Nov 21 (IANS) The 41st edition of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI), billed by organisers as the most cash-rich in the world, will be inaugurated here Monday by Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee.
'This year we have five awards worth a total of Rs.9 million ($200,000). This is the highest amount for any film festival. Also, for the first time, we are introducing two additional silver peacock awards - for best actor and actress,' director of the Directorate of Film Festivals (DFF) S.M. Khan said here.
The information and broadcasting ministry's DFF along with the Entertainment Society of Goa, a government wing, organises the annual event.
'Around 300 films from 61 countries will be screened during the 10-day festival at 11 venues in the state,' Chief Minister Digambar Kamat said.
He added that 18 films, including three from India, will compete for five awards in the competition section.
The best film would be awarded a Golden Peacock and Rs.40 lakh. The best director would be awarded a Silver Peacock and Rs.15 lakh.
The best actor and actress would each be given a Silver Peacock and Rs.10 lakh. The winner of the special jury award would get a Silver Peacock and Rs.15 lakh, a statement said.
In another first for this year's festival, renowned artists will hold special sessions - called 'Master Classes'.
Sound recordist and Oscar awardee Resul Pokutty, actor Boman Irani, and Flamenco dancer James Javier are scheduled to hold these sessions.
Around 8,000 delegates from all over the world are expected to attend the festival.
Freida Pinto, of 'Slumdog Millionaire' fame, will be present for the screening of her film 'I met a tall dark stranger', directed by Woody Allen.
Unlike previous editions, IFFI 2010 will also showcase films from north America and Europe, Khan said.
'They were earlier left out on grounds that films from countries that don't usually get publicity should be given a chance. We decided to include them in order not to miss out on important films from these countries,' Khan said.
The Indian Panorama would presents bouquet of 26 feature and 21 non-feature films. 'Mee Sindhutai Sapkal', based on social reformer Sindhutai Sapkal's life, will be the inaugural film in the section.
This edition will also focus on films from countries like Mexico, Georgia and Sri Lanka, besides a special section on films from Orissa, to commemorate the platinum jubilee of Oriya cinema.
The event was shifted to Goa in 2003. It concludes Dec 2.