IFFI 2008: Opening windows of Worldwide Cultural Vistas
On Sunday last I saw a cinematic satisfying emotional film with
technical virtuosity and a story of restrained family dramatic
situations involving love that embarrasses the people involved with
intermittent flashbacks and slick acting. I enjoyed this film
thoroughly. It’s called ‘A Moment in June’ directed by O. Nathapon. Its
novelty is seen in the theatre sequences smoothly translated into the
Also shown on November 23 was ‘The War Lords’ directed by Peter Chan.
This was a co production from China/Malaysia/and Hong Kong. I have a
feeling that this is to be released in Lanka soon, if it not had been
Our own Prasanna Vithanage is in Panaji. His film ‘Akasa Kusum’
(Flowers of the Sky) is being shown at the festival. Since I had already
seen this in Colombo, I refrain from commenting on it. Prasanna’s
talents are well known internationally.
It is 2.00 p.m. on Sunday. I could write about only one film. Tonight
I will be seeing a film titled ‘Love Life’ directed by Maria Schrader.
It’s a co-production from Germany and Israel. I shall write about this
film and any other films I manage to see by Friday for the Projector
Page to appear on December 1, 2008.
The competition section will have 15 films from all over the world.
These include ‘My Mother’s Tears’ (Argentina/ Germany), ‘Rupantor’
(Transformation) (Bangladesh), ‘The Shaft’ (China), ‘Kanchivaram’ and
‘Mahasatta’ (India), ‘The Song of Sparrows’ (Iran), ‘The Red Spot’
(Japan/Germany), ‘Tulpan ‘(Kazakhstan), ‘Pensil’ (Malaysia), ‘Ploning’
(Philippines), ‘Akasa Kusum’ (Sri Lanka), and ‘The Coffin’ (Thailand)
Here is a resume of what IFFI (International Film Festival of India)
2008 is all about. On Saturday November 22, 2008, at the opening
ceremony Bollywood’s Yesteryears heroine Rekha (born to the late Gemini
Ganeshan) lighted the traditional ceremonial lamp. Telugu and Thamil
actress of Goan origin Ileana D’Cruz assisted Rekha. Bollywood starlet
Amrita Rao was the host.
Maestro in acting and film direction Chapleanisque artiste from
Thamilnadu, Kamala Haasan will be the chief guest at the closing
ceremony on December 2 at which the awards will also be presented. ‘Song
of the Sparrows’ by the eminent Iranian filmmaker Majid Majidi will be
the closing film.
During the 10 day festival over 225 films from more than 40 countries
will be screened in several sections. Nearly 6000 delegates have
registered to view these films.. Goa is hosting IFFI for the fifth time
in a row. In the Cinema of the World section 65 films from more than 40
countries are screened.
In the Film India Worldwide Section films made by Indians abroad on
Indian themes will be shown. These films include: ‘Tanddori Love’
(Switzerland), ‘Death Without Consent’ (USA), ‘Barah Aana and Chaurasta:
Cross Roads of Love’(India with foreign collaboration).
The films of eminent filmmakers Aki Kaurismaki (Finland), John Landis
(USA), Wong Kar Wai (Hong Kong) will be screened in the Foreign
There will be special tributes to filmmakers Peter Chan who ossharing
the international jury, and Niki Karimi who is also a member of the
In addition, there will be 47 films (26 feature films and 21
non-features) in the Indian Panorama.
Three widely acclaimed Hindi films on relevant social issues -’Taare
Zameen Par’, ‘A Wednesday’, and ‘Summer 2007’ are to be screened. The
award winning Kannada film ‘Gulabi Talkies’ form part of the 26 feature
and 21 non-feature films of the Indian Panorama. The features include
six in Malayalam, four each in Hindi and Thamil, three each in Marati
and Kannada, one each in Bengali, Assamese and Telugu, and one which is
in English/Gujrati and Hindi.
Six internationally acclaimed Indian films from the pre-1950 are also
being screened from the Treasures of the National Film Archives of
India. Seven films of all-time veterans Dilip Kumar, Lata Mangeshkar, B.
Saroja Devi and Tapan Sinha are being presented in Lifetime Classics.
The Indian section will also have a special tribute to the legendary
Bimal Roy with six films on him. L. V. Prasad will also be featured with
two films. A special section will be a tribute to 75 years of Kannada
The Festival will also pay homage to film personalities G P Sippy, B
R Chopra, F C Mehra, Jayashree Gadkar, Raghuvaran, Mahendra Kapoor,
Jeeva, Sridhar, Vijay Tendulkar and Nabendu Ghosh who passed away over
the past year with screening of their films.
There are many more screenings under different categories.
India produces over a thousand films a year in different languages -
the largest in the world.