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November 06, 2023 09:03 PM

Face2New/Chandigarh/New Delhi/Goa 

Union Minister Shri Anurag Thakur today announced that 54th International Film Festival will be held from 20th to 28th November, 2023, in Goa. Speaking on the occasion, Shri Thakur said that ranked 5th largest market globally, India’s media and entertainment industry is a force to reckon with. He added that this market is growing every year with an average annual growth of 20% in the last three years. The movies made in India have covered every corner of the country and are now reaching the distant corners of the world. 

In his statement, the Minister stated that this year Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement Award will be conferred on Mr Michael Douglas, a shining star of world cinema and who is known for his immense contribution in the cinematic universe.

Shri Thakur informed that the International Section of IFFI has seen a three times spike in number of films received and this is a display of the fascination of international film industry for IFFI.

Speaking about the newly introduced OTT awards, he said that since COVID19 pandemic OTT industry has seen a boom in India and original content created in India is employing thousands of people. In response to the dynamic landscape of this sector, growth of which stands at 28% annually, the Ministry has introduced this award celebrating the outstanding content creators on OTT platforms. He added that a total of 32 entries across 10 languages from 15 OTT platforms have been received and the winner will be awarded an amount of ten lakh rupees.

Shri Anurag Thakur spoke about the booming startup ecosystem in the country and Governments focus on creating a support system to nurture such entities. He added that to bolster the startup ecosystem in film sector, and to recognise talent from the remotest corners of the country, we had started the Creative Minds of Tomorrow initiative. The Minister informed that there are over 600 entries in this section for this year. This year’s selection of 75 winners will take the total of such winners to 225 in 3 years.

The Minster made a special mention that all the venues for this year’s IFFI will be inclusive with all facilities and access for specially-abled. Audio description for visually impaired, sign language for hearing impaired, dubbing of content in multiple languages will be symbolic of the mantra of Sabka Sath Sabka Vikas.

The Minister of State Dr L Murugan in his brief statement said that IFFI is one of the biggest film and cultural extravaganza of the world. He informed the audience that International Jury is being headed by acclaimed filmmaker Mr. Shekhar Kapur.

Here is a glimpse of what the 54th edition of International Film Festival of India will feature:

One of the highlights of IFFI is the Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement Award (SRLTA) presented for Excellence in World Cinema. Michael Douglas, a Hollywood Actor & Producer, who is presently one of the greatest international figure in world cinema, will be there in IFFI, to accept this prestigious award, along with his wife & acclaimed actress, Catherine Zeta-Jones.
With over 50 years in the film and television industry, “Michael Douglas”, has received 2 Oscars, 5 Golden Globe Awards, a Primetime Emmy Award, and countless other honors. In 2023, he received the Palme d’Or for lifetime achievement at the 76th Festival de Cannes. He is known for his iconic roles, from his Academy Award-winning performance as Gordon Gekko in 'Wall Street' to critically acclaimed films like Fatal Attraction, The American President, Basic Instinct, Traffic, and Romancing the Stone. Michael is not just an actor but also a prolific producer. His work includes powerful films like One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and The China Syndrome. Mr. Douglas has been known for his humanitarian efforts. He is on the board of the Nuclear Threat Initiative organization focused on reducing nuclear and biological threats imperiling humanity. He was also appointed as a United Nations Messenger of Peace in 1998.

More than 270 films will be showcased during the festival at 4 venues – INOX Panjim (4), Maquinez Palace(1), INOX Porvorim(4), Z Square Samrat Ashok (2).
‘International section’ of the 54th IFFI will have 198 films, even 18 more than the 53rd IFFI. It will have 13 World Premiers, 18 International Premiers, 62 Asia Premiers and 89 India Premiers. This year IFFI received a record number of 2926 entries from 105 countries, which is 3 times more international submissions than last year.
‘Indian Panorama’ section will showcase 25 feature films and 20 non-feature films from India. Opening Film in the feature section is a Malyalam film, Aattam, and in the non-feature section is Andro Dreams from Manipur.
Best Web Series (OTT) Award: Best Web Series (OTT) Award has been introduced this year. Aimed at acknowledging, encouraging and honouring, the flourishing content and its creators of OTT platforms. 32 entries have received in 10 languages from 15 OTT platforms. Certificates and a cash prize of 10 Lakhs will be given as prize money to the winning series, which will be announced in the closing ceremony.
International Film Section of this year’s IFFI will have 8 curated sections. The highlights of important films are as under -
OPENING FILM: Catching Dust | Dir: Stuart Gatt | United Kingdom | (International Premiere) – It’s a Drama/ Thriller, with cast including eminent international actors, Erin Moriarty, Jai Courtney, Dina Shihabi, Ryan Corr, José Altit, Gary Fannin & Olwen Fouéré. Stuart Gatt is an award-winning British filmmaker of mixed Asian heritage whose stories are often influenced by topical social themes.
MID-FEST FILM: About Dry Grasses | Dir: Nuri Bilge Ceylan | France | (India Premiere) – It is a Turkish Drama by the acclaimed director who has won several prestigious awards. His film Winter Sleep (2014) won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival, while six of his films have been selected as Turkey's submission for the Academy Award for Best International Feature Film, which also includes ‘About Dry Grasses’. This film was also in the competition section of the Cannes Film Festival this year. Its acclaimed actress Merve Dizdar, was presented the awards for Best Actress for her performance for this Film.
CLOSING FILM: The Featherweight | Dir: Robert Kolodny | United States | (Asia Premiere) – It is a 2023 American biographical sports drama film that unravels the mythmaking and the fiction of modern stardom through the biopic of a star athlete, meticulously conceived in the classic “Cinéma verité” (truthful cinema) style. Robert Kolodny is a versatile American Director, Writer and Cinematographer. The film premiered at the 80th Venice International Film Festival in Sep, 2023. Robert served as Director of Photography for many films and has also directed various award-winning films and documentaries.
INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION SECTION –15 feature films (12 International + 3 Indian) have been shortlisted to compete for the coveted Best Film Award, a Golden Peacock & INR 40 lakhs. Apart from the Best Film the jury will also determine winners in the best director, best actor (male), best actor (female), special jury prize category. The list of Films is given in Annexure and their details are being uploaded on the official website of IFFI.
BEST FEATURE FILM DEBUT DIRECTOR - 5 International + 2 Indian Films will compete in this section for the coveted Silver Peacock, 10 lakh INR as cash prize and a certificate. The list of Films is given in Annexure and their details are being uploaded on the official website of IFFI.
International Jury – Mr. Shekhar Kapur (Chairperson), acclaimed Indian Filmmaker & Actor, Jose Luis Alcaine, awarded Spanish Cinematographer, Jerome Paillard, distinguished ex-head of Marche du Cannes, Catharine Dussart, prolific Film Producer from France; Helen Leake, renowned Film Producer from Australia.
FESTIVAL KALEIDOSCOPE – Best of award-winning films of the prestigious international film festivals this year, have been assorted in the IFFI Kaleidoscope. 19 films are from festivals such as Cannes, Venice, Sao Paulo, Rotterdam, Santa Barbara, Stockholm, etc.
CINEMA OF THE WORLD Section comprises 103 films through entries, a significant leap from previous years (77) to explore the staggering diversity of aesthetics and narratives from cinemas around the globe.

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