The 3rd Delhi International Film Festival took off on Saturday at the New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) convention centre in Connaught Place. The festival is organized by The Social Circle on the occasion of the centenary celebration of NDMC, begun on December 20 and will conclude on December 27.
BJP’s Delhi president, Satish Upadhyay, declaring the festival open, said, “A film shows the real face of our society. PM Narendra Modi promotes ‘Made in India’ and, according to me, this can be achieved only when we promote our originality. Such festivals are a platform to promote hidden talents from across the world.”
The programme commenced with a screening of the music video Kisi Raah Par, Kisi Mor Par, directed by Manish Kumar, while Members of Delhi Mallakhamb Association wowed the audience with incredible gymnastic feats.The festival is showcasing movies from 45 countries, including Pakistan, Egypt, the UK and US among others.
Ram Kishore Parcha, founder of the DIFF, said, “We received over 1,300 movies for the festival, of which, 250 were shortlisted in different categories, including world cinema, cinema across the border, Indian showcase, NRI cinema, student films, animation, green films, short films and documentaries.” He added, “We have a selection team and jury that watched each movie and then shortlisted the 250, most of which are Oscar-nominated.”
Paintings of different artists were also showcased and workshops and seminars will be held from 10.30am to 6pm daily on topics like art, cinema, Delhi film city, the animation and fashion industry and wildlife photography.At the festival, Subhash Ghai, who received the Lifetime Achievement Award strolled down memory lane while addressing the audience, sharing his journey from a small-time boy to a Bollywood personality. He said, “I tried and failed and again tried. I wanted to be an actor, but failed. Then I started writing stories and became a scriptwriter. One fine day, a producer asked me to direct his film Kaalicharan, I was apprehensive as I knew nothing of directing, but agreed anyway. It was a good decision as the movie was a hit and the rest is history.”
The DIFF also awarded Indian World Champion wrestler Sushil Kumar Solanki with the Minar-e-Dilli award, while actor Biswajit Deb Chatterjee was given the special honour award. The film festival also made a tribute to the legendary actor, director and producer AR Kardar and Chetan Anand.NDMC chairman Jalaj Srivastava and DIFF’s Parcha promised that next monsoon, another film fest will take place, showcasing films shot in Delhi since 1950. Srivastava said, “Lots of shooting is done in Delhi and we want to celebrate this, so we’re planning a ‘monsoon week’ next year, where Bollywood movies shot in Delhi will be screened.”