Less glamour, more business at IFFI 2007

Panaji, Oct 27 (IANS) There will be no entertainment programmes in the 38th edition of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI), which will be held here in November end, to ensure that the focus of the event remains on cinema.

Panaji, Oct 27 (IANS) There will be no entertainment programmes in the 38th edition of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI), which will be held here in November end, to ensure that the focus of the event remains on cinema.

During the first meeting of IFFI 2007's organising committee led by Minister of Information and Broadcasting P.R. Dasmunsi Friday, it was decided that the opening and closing ceremonies would be simple in keeping with the practice inmost international film festivals. The focus will be on the opening and closing films.

In earlier years, the IFFI, which was shifted from New Delhi to Goa in 2004, had earned some criticism for having a 'carnival' at the time of the launch of each festival.

'There will be no entertainment programme at these functions. The awards ceremony will be held at the closing function. This would be followed by the screening of the closing film,' said an official statement released Friday.

Two new theatres with a seating capacity of 300 seats are being built in the festival complex.

Two public theatres are also being upgraded and provided with the latest projection facilities, making another 400 seats available for the festival. The total number of delegates that may be registered has been fixed in proportion to the availability of theatre seats. This year, the registration system for all delegates has been made completely online.

For the first time, a ticketing system has been introduced whereby every delegate will have to book in advance for any films that he or she would like to see. A maximum of three tickets for every delegate and five for every media person will be issued.

Delegate registration fee for late registration has been considerably enhanced to Rs.1000. Students will however get 50 percent concession.

The Indian Panorama section, focussing on films made within the country, will have 21 features and 15 non-feature films selected by two juries headed by Malayalam film director K.S. Sethumadhavan and short filmmaker Arun Khopkar respectively.

Indian Retrospectives will showcase films of respected Bengali film director Tapan Sinha and award-winning Bollywood film producer, director, and actor Vijay Anand.

The Homages section will focus on one of India's foremost cinematographer K.K. Mahajan, actress Vanamala Devi and music composer O.P. Nayyar.

Among the highlights of foreign section are 14 feature films from Asia, Africa and Latin America in the Competition Section. Cinema of the World will have about 60 award winning feature films from 40 countries.

Master Classes, Technical Retrospective, Foreign Retrospectives and Country Focus will be the other sections of IFFI 2007. For the first time, two programmers from the Goa government will be curating two separate sections for the IFFI. One of the sections, India 60, will mark India's 60th anniversary with three feature films and two documentary films while the other section will be a retrospective package on eminent German filmmaker Volker Schlondorff.

The National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) with the participation of the Confederation of Indian (CII) Industry and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) will organize IFFI 2007's Film Market.

As part of the Film Market, the NFDC is planning to organise a buyers' lounge and co-production market. FICCI is organizing a seminar and master class on animation and visual effects while CII will organize The Big Picture conference.

A new initiative is being undertaken by NFDC in partnership with the Directorate of Film Festivals, where international consultants and experts will advise and work with selected filmmakers to develop scripts of international quality.

Goa has had a mixed experience in organising the IFFI since 2004. While Bollywood has been enthusiastic about holding the event here, the film industries of South India and Kolkata are not too happy. Goa has itself been struggling to get the event on keel, knowing it could add value to India's holiday capital as the country attempts to build a Cannes of its own.

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Vijay Anand Thumbnail

Vijay Anand

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Tapan Sinha

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Arun Khopkar

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