Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president John Bailey will attend this year's edition of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said Sunday. The festival, scheduled from November 20-28, would be held in a bigger way this time as it is the golden jubilee year of the prestigious film event, he told reporters in Panaji in the presence of Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant.
"Oscar Academy president John Bailey has confirmed his presence for the festival. He would be among several international dignitaries who will arrive in Goa to participate in the IFFI," Javadekar said. The IFFI is being organised in Goa jointly by the Directorate of Film Festivals and the state-run Entertainment Society of Goa (ESG).
Javadekar held a meeting of the festival's steering committee, which was attended by filmmakers, including Rahul Rawail, Madhur Bhandarkar, A K Bir, Shaji Karun and Manju Borah. Filmmakers Karan Johar, Siddharth Roy Kapur, Feroz Abbas Khan and Subhash Ghai have also confirmed to be part of the steering committee which will design the IFFI's golden jubilee edition, the minister said.
Held annually, the IFFI is being organised in Goa since 2004 under the leadership of then chief minister Manohar Parrikar. Before that, the festival has been organised in some other states as well. Javadekar said a special tribute would be paid to Parrikar during the festival this year, considering late BJP leader Parrikar's contribution towards the event and making Goa the permanent venue for the festival.
The IFFI will also remember Mahatma Gandhi, whose 150th birth year is being commemorated across the country, he said, adding that an exhibition depicting the life of the Father of the Nation would also be organised. Russia has shown a keen interest to be an international partner for this year's edition and a large contingent from the country is expected to arrive in Goa for the event, he said.
Considering the scale of the festival, students of the Pune-based Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) and Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute, Kolkata, would be part of the organising team, Javadekar said. "These students will get a first-hand experience of managing the show as they will be part of the management committee," he said.
More screens would be added to the festival this year as many of the popular films got an overwhelming response from delegates, Javadekar said. The festival is currently held at three venues in Goa -- Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee Stadium, Kala Academy and ESG complex.
The IFFI is India's pride and this year's event is especially significant as it marks the golden jubilee edition, he said. Roadshows will be conducted across seven cities in India to reach out to the film fraternity for developing a buzz for the festival, he said. The list of films to be shown is aimed to be finalised by September this year to give sufficient time for cine lovers to plan for attending the festival.
The Goa chief minister said the organisation of the 50th IFFI is a proud moment for the state, and his government will leave no stones unturned to ensure top-notch infrastructure and hospitality arrangement to make this edition of the festival memorable.
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