Minister of State for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and veteran actor Rishi Kapoor here on Saturday inaugurated the "8th Jagran Film Festival", which will travel to 16 cities across India and showcase over 400 films.
The festival will feature a retrospective on Rishi's acclaimed films including "Do Dooni Char", "Chandni", "Bobby", "Kapoor & Sons" and a part of "Mera Naam Joker".
"I am thankful that they are showing my films. I have been working in the industry for last 45 years, but nobody has showcased a retrospective of my work. I am very humbled by this. They are showing my eight-and-a-half films. This includes eight full films and one part of 'Mera Naam Joker'," Rishi said.
Also present at the inaugural ceremony were actresses Divya Dutta and Tannishtha Chatterjee.
The eighth edition of the festival kick-started with the screening of Farhan Akhtar and Annu Kapoor-starrer "The Fakir of Venice".
The Anand Surapur directorial tells the story of an Indian conman, who is hired to find a fakir who can bury himself in sand for an installation art project in Venice. He passes off a poor slum-dweller from Mumbai as the real thing, conning the European art world successfully.
The festival will pay a homage to late actors Vinod Khanna and Om Puri with the screenings of their films "Achanak" and "Mr. Kabaadi".
Speaking on the occasion, Naqvi said: "This is a memorable occasion as people who have taken art and films to each and every house are associated with this festival. I am happy that through this festival, social messages are being transmitted to small places across India via films."
While Information and Broadcasting Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu and the starcast of upcoming film "Mom", including Sridevi, Akshaye Khanna and Nawazuddin Siddiqui, were supposed to attend the opening ceremony, they were not able to make it to the event.
This year the festival will have Morocco as its country focus.
"We are pleased to showcase Moroccan films here. Bollywood is the oldest known cinema. Surprisingly, in Morocco, there are a few cinemas that are completely dedicated to the Indian movies. People there speak Indian languages just by watching Indian films," Moroccan Ambassador Mohamed Maliki told IANS.
The five-day Delhi leg of the film festival, which is talking place here at the Sri Fort Auditorium, will showcase Indian films like "Hindi Medium", "Pink", "Agneepath", "Shivaay", "M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story", "Phillauri", "Sachin: A Billion Dreams", "Neerja", "Jolly LLB 2" and "Trapped".
Some films from different countries across the world that will be showcased this year include "Black Cat" (US), "Last Christmas" (Italy), "The Letterbox" (Turkey), "Adios Carmen" (Morocco), "The Bench" (Iran), "Inner Court" (Brazil) and "Letter to the Night" (France), among others.
After its Delhi leg, which will conclude on July 5, the festival will travel to cities like Kanpur, Lucknow, Allahabad, Varanasi, Patna, Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Bhopal, Indore, Hisar, Meerut and Raipur. The final leg of the festival will take place in Mumbai.