Gulzar Graces Opening Ceremony of 1st IFFPwD
“It’s a great start!” said noted poet and lyricist Gulzar congratulating NFDC, DEPwD and MoSJE for organizing a unique film festival at the Opening ceremony of the 1st International Film Festival For Persons With Disabilities (IFFPwD) being held at Siri Fort, Delhi from December 1-3, 2015
The Chief Guest of the Opening Ceremony of the film festival was the Union Minister for Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment Shri Thaawarchand Gehlot. Also present were Minister of State Shri Krishan Pal Gurjar and Shri Lov Verma Secretary, Awanish K. Awasthi, JS, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Dept. of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, Chairperson Sweta Rawat of Hans Foundation, Shri DR Sarin, CMD, ALIMCO were present during the inauguration which was done by lighting the lamp while visually impaired Indian Fame singer Sri Diwakar sang the Ganesh Vandana.
Dignitaries from the film industry such as Gulzar Saab accompanied by his daughter Meghna Gulzar, Sanjana Kapoor, Mahesh Limaye were also present.
The actress Sonali Kulkarni hosted the inaugural ceremony, giving a warm welcome speech and the key feature was that all speeches were translated in sign language by Nibha and Bhavna from Amaryoti. Differently abled children from various organizations such as DRA-Blind Relief Association , Tamanna, Sai Swayam Society,Amarjyoti and National Association of Blind, Delhi gave a spectacular dance performance.
A special video clip by Salman Khan was played at the event for the screening of Bajrangi Bhaijaan. He addressed the audience with a heart warming speech and apologized for not being able to attend the festival, as he was busy with a shoot of his next film. He said, “This Film festival is a great initiative and a noble thought. Cinema, movies and Entertainment is a big part of the Indian culture and I think everybody should be a part of this culture and why should the differently abled people be left out of this? Many who can see but not hear and some who can hear but not see, they all should go and enjoy and should be provided with the necessary facilities.”
The festival saw a grand opening with the screening of National award winner Marathi film, Yellow by Mahesh Limaye who was accompanied by his lead actor, a differently abled girl child in real life Gauri Gadgil and mainstream film director Kabir Khan came with his lead child actor Harshaali Malhotra for the Gala screening of Bajrangi Bhaijaan.
A differently abled kid attending the festival from the audience drew a sketch of Harshaali and presented it to her and the director Kabir Khan.
The jury members of the films and documentaries comprising of Marco Mueller, Jayshree Raveendran and Aamir Bashir, Siddharth Kak were introduced.
Gulzar Saab suggested, “The festival should be called Festival for ‘Specially Abled People’ because its people like me who feel handicapped after seeing such remarkable performances and energy of these special kids.”
The legendary poet felt proud that his daughter Meghna Gulzar’s documentary, Closer, on differently abled people is participating in the festival and he recited the poem with his daughter’s permission which he wrote on the theme of the documentary which is making its world premiere in the competition category at the fest.
Shri Thaawarchand Gehlot informed that his ministry is now providing high-end contemporary aids and assisted devices to differently abled persons throughout the Nation to make their lives easier. Speaking on the occasion the Minister informed about the collaboration made with the multinational company for producing modern prosthetics.
Addressing the occasion Shri Krishan Pal Gurjar said that if provided with the right environment and encouragement the differently abled people are in no way less talented and can be incorporated in the society.
While welcoming the audience, Shri Lov Verma said, “I thank NFDC for providing a technical support for first of its kind historical film festival. It is just a trickle that will gather force and will become an yearly feature. It is a truly great moment to savour”.
Theatre personality Sanjana Kapoor shared her experience and anecdotes of her involvement in the world of differently abled. She quoted, “The festival by NFDC and the Ministry is truly remarkable and this is what the people of India need. They need to know the story of these special people. This is the India we need with true integration. I celebrate the fact that this is the beginning of that massive step through its wonderful medium of cinema to take their stories across the country. “
The List of films and documentaries screened on Day 1
– Marathi Feature Film: Yellow
– English Documentary: The Silent Chaos
– Russian and English Short Film: Deafness
– English Short Film: Predators of Transylvania
– German Documentary: Useless Eaters- Luneburg 45
– Spanish Documentary: Some In Some Out
– Short film: Strangers
– French Short Film : Pan
– Short Film: The Big Decision
– Short Film: Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others
– Documentary: Draw Hard
– Tamil Feature Film : Haridas
– Hindi Documentary: It’s Cricket No?
– Hindi and English Documentary: Indelible