Even as the reach and impact of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) has been debated ever since its venue shifted to Goa permanently in 2004, it still offers India’s biggest international movie feast in terms of its scale as well as the number of movies and ancillary activities that it brings together for 10 days.
Edition 46 rolls out on Friday with the screening of the opening film, The Man Who Knew Infinity. One of the most anticipated movies of the year, this biopic of Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan features Dev Patel in the lead.
The venue has been decked with designs by Sabu Cyril, art director of the film Bahubali. The next 10 days will see a celebration of cinema that with a total of 289 films from 90 countries to be screened, including 47 Indian movies.
A special attraction of the festival this year is the screening of as many as 26 films that are the official entries in the Oscar foreign-language category. India’s official selection for the Oscar, Court by Chaitanya Tamhane will also be shown during the festival.
This year, IFFI has launched #IFFI2015 Android Smartphone App to keep movie-buffs updated on the trailers, schedules, reminders and events taking place during the festival. For the first time, IFFI will stream the opening and closing ceremonies live. Celebrity interviews as well as master classes will be streamed live on a dedicated YouTube channel.
The curtains on the festival will come down with Pablo Trapero’s The Clan, Argentina’s submission in the Oscar foreign-language category. The closing ceremony will also have music composer AR Rahman as its chief guest.
Mid-Fest Feast: The Danish Girl — one of favourites in the festival circuit in 2015 — will be screened on November 25. This Tom Hooper-directed drama featuring the Oscar-winner Eddie Redmayne will be screened at Kala Academy at 4.45 pm.
Classic open-air viewing: The ‘Indian Classics’ section, which showcases eight films will begin on November 27 at 7 pm at Panjim’s Azad Maidan with the open-air screening of a restored print of the timeless Pyaasa. Others films in this section are Jait re Jait, Manthan, Bhavani Bhavai, Is Raat ki Subaah Nahi, Uttarayanam, Ek Din Achanak, Ajantrik and Do Bigha Zameen.
Return to the roots: The Indian Panorama opens its features section comprising 26 movies with Priyamanasam, the third Sanskrit movie ever made.
Countries in focus: Spain is the country in focus this year and this aims to familiarise the audience with the work of Carlos Saura, Pedro Almodovar and Alejandro Amenabar. IFFI will also put the spotlight on contemporary Argentinian cinema.