IFFI 2016: Day One of the International Film Festival of India 2016, was indeed a busy day. Delegates poured in to attend movies, walk around, grab a few bites, and take in all that is IFFI 2016.

The Corniche was bustling, due to the variety of attractions placed all along the pathway. Children, as well as adults were found snapping away on their phones, as they posed next to the vibrant Goan decor.

On to the events that unfolded at the festival, on 21st November!

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The Red Carpet and Inauguration of Country Focus – Republic of Korea

Many in India have spent countless hours watching Korean films on YouTube – or at least have spent an excruciating amount of time ‘buffering’ Korean films. These films can be said to have a cult following in India; youth in the northeastern states of India thrive on Korean films and music. Therefore, a Korean director being honoured with a lifetime achievement award at the 47th IFFI, 2016 is an opportunity for many to get to know the people behind this prolific film industry, which has churned out classics like My Sassy Girl (2001), Old Boy (2003), and The Classic (2003) amongst others.

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South Korean Delegations

The Inauguration began at 4:15pm, at Kala Academy, in the presence of Producer Jang Won-seok and Director Kim Seong-hun of the Country Focus Opening Film – Tunnel, and the Korean Official Delegation. This was also a Red Carpet event, due to which the Opening Film was scheduled to be screened at 4:45pm.

The Red Carpet and Inauguration of the Indian Panorama

The Opening Ceremony of the Indian Panorama was inaugurated by Honorable Minister of Information & Broadcasting and Minister for Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu on 21st November 2016 at INOX – II.

The festival director C. Senthil Rajan addressed the gathering. The Indian Panorama section presents a selection of 26 feature films & 21 non-feature films selected by the respective eminent jury.

Ishti directed by G. Prabha in Sanskrit was the opening feature film with a duration of 108 minutes. G. Prabha said, “I have always been fascinated by the Sanskrit Language. In spite of being a South Indian, I made this film in Sanskrit. It throws more light on gender inequality.”

Ima Sabitri was the opening Non Feature film in Manipuri with a duration of 66 minutes directed by Bobo K.H. Bobo K.H. said, “My film embodies the stories enacted on stage and off stage. In fact, the film narrates the stories from an intimate distance.”

The Feature Jury was headed by Rajendra Singh Babu (Chairperson) and members were Rama Vij , C V Reddy, N Krishnakumar, Uday Shankar Pani, Arup Manna,Sanjay Pawar, Sabyasachi Mohapatra, K Puttaswamay,Swapan Mullick, Satinder Mohan, Ahathian and Girish Mohite.

The Non Feature Jury was headed by Arvind Sinha as chairperson and the members were Goutam Benegal, Suresh Sharma, Madhureeta, Ronel Haobam, Aarti Shrivastava, Abhijit Majumder. P.S. Chanthu (Producer) and G Prabha (Director) were the special invitees along with actors Athira Patel and Anoop A besides A.S. Sudharmaja (Asst. Executive Producer).

Other Red Carpet Events

Red Carpet – Indian Panorama – “Shankhachil”

Shankhachil is a Bengali historical drama, directed by Goutam Ghose. It has won the National Award, for Best Bengali Film, 2016. The Red Carpet event began at 5:15pm, followed by the film screening at 5:45pm.

Red Carpet – Indian Panorama – “Aloko Udapadi”

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Indian Panorama

Aloko Udapadi was one of IFFI 2016’s World Premieres.

The film revolves around the story of the Buddha’s dispensation in written form after long centuries of oral tradition, in a turbulent historical context. King Valagamba was overthrown five months after his coronation by a rebellion and invasion from South India, but regained the throne after fourteen years by defeating the invaders.

The event was attended by the cast and crew of Aloko Udapadi.

National Film Archives of India’s (NFAI) Exhibition

“Azadi 70 Saal, Yaad Karo Qurbani” (70 Years of Independence, Remember the Sacrifices) is the focus of National Film Archives of India’s (NFAI)exhibition at IFFI 2016. Last year NFAI introduced multimedia to complement their annual exhibition of film posters. This year, Virtual Reality technology has been introduced to provide a virtual tour of the NFAI headquartered in Pune, the facilities made available there, the type of archival and restoration work the organization undertakes, and how some of the most valuable films on celluloid are stored.

The present exhibition has a range of posters from various languages paired with film clips, along with the virtual reality. One can browse through the art work of such posters like Seva Sadan (Tamil, 1938), Vande Mataram (Telugu, 1939) under the category “Social Films with Political Overtones”. The category “National Leaders and Freedom Struggle” features Hum Dono (Hindi, 1961), Haqeeqat (Hindi, 1964). The artwork of films like 1857 (Hindi, 1946), Ek Kadam (Hindi, 1947), and Shaheed (Hindi, 1948) are also displayed.

Visitors can also watch old propaganda and news films, all of which have been preserved at NFAI. Old black-and-white films like “Attack: The Battle for New Britain” or newsreel clips from Indian News Parade on how Indian nationalist leaders reacted to the viceroy’s decisions or the geopolitical situation off the coast of Japan are also quite interesting.

The virtual reality section of the NFAI exhibition has two parts: the first consists of the tour of NFAI and their activities; the second is more interactive, comprising a virtual exhibition of film posters. The viewer can take a virtual walk around a gallery, and read the brief note under each of the posters.It’s a positive addition to the overall experience of this annual IFFI fixture.

Meanwhile, at Film Bazaar…

One of the key highlights of the Film Bazaars traditional Knowledge Series was Imtiaz Ali’s conversation with London based film author Nasreen Munni Kabir.

The session explored the freshness that Imtiaz Ali brought in with Socha Na Tha… sticking always to the love story at hand, the drama emerging from the mess that the love birds themselves created out of their confused selves.


Imtiaz Ali


Clippings from several of Imtiaz Ali’s films including ‘Socha Na Tha’, ‘Jab We Met’ and ‘Highway’ were screened to a packed audience, interspersing a freewheeling discussion about his influences, process and past collaborations.

“What I’ve seen at Film Bazaar is that there are a lot of people who are smart and well-meaning, who intend to be in cinema all their lives,” Imtiaz Ali said. “My session was really interesting as a result of the audience and Nasreen’s engagement. The concept of having Film Bazaar is very interesting; it’s meaningful, and provides a platform for emerging young voices, fresh voices, to come into cinema. It’s very good that demand and supply on both sides can find a confluence point.”