The 54th edition of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) will be hosted in Goa from November 20th to 28th. While more than 250 films are being showcased across the various sections of the festival, all eyes are set on the gala opening ceremony being hosted on November 20th at Shamaprasad Indoor Stadium, Panaji, Goa. The opening ceremony is headlined by Shahid Kapoor and Madhuri Dixit along with Shriya Saran, Nushratt Bharucha, Pankaj Tripathi, Shantanu Moitra, Shreya Ghoshal and Sukhwinder Singh, while the ceremony is being hosted by Aparshakti Khurrana and Karishma Tanna.
Several dignitaries are expected to be present, along with eminent personalities from Indian cinema, including Sunny Deol, Vijay Sethupathi, Sara Ali Khan, Karan Johar, at the 54th IFFI opening ceremony, recognized as one of the biggest film and cultural extravaganzas in the world. Viacom Media Pvt. Ltd. is the exclusive media and broadcasting partner of the opening and closing ceremonies for the second consecutive year and will broadcast the ceremonies on India’s leading general entertainment channel COLORS and its OTT platform JioCinema. The star-studded ceremonies are produced by Wizcraft Entertainment Agency, the country’s leading producers of live events.
Speaking about IFFI, Hon’ble Union Minister of Information & Broadcasting and Youth Affairs and Sports, Shri Anurag Singh Thakur said, “IFFI has been growing every year thanks to the passion of our filmmakers from across the country and the collaboration that we have been able to forge with the directors and producers from across the world. As we take forward Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of strengthening India’s global position across all sectors, cinema, arts and culture can empower our youth to foray into the world stage with stories that are global in essence and local at heart. Indeed, IFFI has become the perfect platform for establishing collaborations, joint productions and cutting-edge technology.”
Says, Shri Apurva Chandra, Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, “The Indian media and entertainment industry has been growing at an average of 20 per cent annually over the last three years with a special focus on original stories for a global audience and use of state-of-the-art technology. This year, IFFI received a record number of 2926 entries from 105 countries, three times more than last year. While working along with the country’s film industry, our team’s efforts are aimed at pushing the boundaries to make the festival bigger and better with every new edition.”
Kevin Vaz, CEO – Broadcast Entertainment, Viacom18 said, “The world’s largest democracy is a fertile breeding ground for stories that cut across social, political, economic, and geographical boundaries. As the country’s foremost storytellers and entertainers, we believe it is our duty to take every story to its audience and every audience to their story. It is with this belief that we are partnering with IFFI for the second year in a row. This partnership aims to celebrate and unite cultures across the country and entertain, educate and empower the world in the ethos of India.”
This year, IFFI has invited Indian actors and filmmakers to promote their upcoming films at the opening gala. Karan Johar and Sara Ali Khan with the team of Ae Watan Mere Watan will unveil the first look of the drama-thriller. Sukhwinder Singh will sing the film’s inspiring title track during the showcase. The film chronicles the journey of Usha Mehta who during the 1942 Quit India Movement started an underground radio station, Congress Radio, which for a few months broadcast uncensored and even banned news.
Pankaj Tripathi, Shantanu Moitra, Shreya Ghoshal and Taba Chake will step into the spotlight to introduce the crime-thriller Kadak Singh directed by National Award winner, Director Aniruddha Roy Choudhary. The film captures the story of AK Shrivastav, an officer in the Department of Financial Crimes who while battling retrograde amnesia exposes the truth behind a Chit Fund Scam. Actor Pankaj Tripathi maintains, “The IFFI festival has always offered a platform for inspiring stories and storytellers who unmask corruption and clean the system, thereby inspiring and empowering us.”
Vijay Sethupathi would unveil the trailer of the black comedy Gandhi Talks, a silent film in a present-day setting revolving around four characters, played by Vijay Sethupathi, Arvind Swami, Siddharth Jadhav and Aditi Rao Hydari.
For its star acts, IFFI has roped in Madhuri Dixit to recreate a medley of her chartbusters. “Cinema has given me so much, it’s time to give something back in return. What better way to do so than through song and dance which is integral to not just Indian cinema, but Indian culture as well,” asserts the Bollywood diva. Madhuri Dixit was recognised as the Indian Film Personality of the Year at last year’s edition of the festival.
Shahid Kapoor will set the stage on fire with his superhit parade. “Doing great work comes naturally when you're passionate about what you do. And performing in front of a live audience is something I’ve truly loved ever since I can remember… Thanks to IFFI I get to do that one more time in Goa on November 20th. See you there!” he says.
The naach-gaana continues with Nushrratt Bharuccha and IFFI celebrating ‘The India Story’. While RRR’s “Naatu Naatu” brings back Oscar glory, Pushpa’s “Sami Sami” represents the growing popularity of South Indian cinema. “Jhoome Jo Pathaan” and Jawan’s “Not Ramaiya Vastavaiya” celebrate the resurrection of Hindi cinema while 83’s “Jeetega Jeetega” celebrates Chandrayaan 3’s successful landing and India’s Asian Games wins.
From rustic celebrations to classy soirees and regional fiestas, Shriya Saran shows us how India parties with the Tamil song “Allegra Allegra”, the Kannada chartbuster “Ra Ra Rakkamma”, the Malayalam hit “Kalapakkarra”, “Boss Party” from the Telugu film Waltair Veeraya and “Show Me The Thumka” from Bollywood’s Tu Jhooti Main Makkaar.
The celebrations will continue over a week. Shri Prithul Kumar, Festival Director- IFFI (Jt. Secretary (Films) & MD/NFDC) informs, “This IFFI will have 13 World Premieres, 18 International Premieres, 62 Asia Premieres and 89 India Premieres. These films, which transcend all borders and cultures, represent the best of Indian and world cinema. This carries forward the compelling obligation to continue the legacy of showcasing cinematic excellence at the 54th IFFI. The Festival Team is working tirelessly to make sure that the participants enjoy the outstanding films, engage in thought-provoking discussions and leave with memories that will last a lifetime”
The festival would be graced by Michael Douglas, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Salman Khan, Vidya Balan, Ayushmann Khurrana, Anupam Kher, Vicky Kaushal, Siddharth Malhotra, Aditi Rao Hydari, AR Rahman, Shreya Ghoshal, Shantanu Moitra, Sukhwinder Singh, Amit Trivedi, among celebrated filmmakers. The closing ceremony will be headlined by Ayushmann Khurrana and renowned music composer Amit Trivedi. Ayushmann will deliver an energetic performance and will pay tribute to Michael Douglas, the recipient of the Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement Award. Amit Trivedi will curate a special rendition of the Sounds of Bharat, alongside a medley of his superhit songs.
There will be a specially curated performance by the ‘Harmony of the Pines’ orchestra of the Himachal Pradesh police arousing nationalistic fervour. At the closing ceremony, several awards and special honours will be presented for Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor (Male) and (Female), ‘Special Jury Award’, ‘Best Web Series on an OTT Platform’, ‘Indian Film Personality of the Year’, ICFT UNESCO Gandhi Medal.
The opening ceremony on November 20th and the closing ceremony on November 28th will begin with a red carpet hosted by Karan Chhabra and Nashpreet Kaur. The showcase that follows will celebrate our icons and the rise of popular South Indian cinema in pan-India and global markets. The lively performances featuring different dance styles, set to popular film songs, underline the festival’s theme of ‘India through the movies’, showcasing the unity and diversity of our culture.
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