PANAJI: Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Anurag Thakur on Saturday said that the government will make consistent efforts to ensure the growth of International Film Festival of India (IFFI) and make it a perfect destination for world cinema.
The 52nd edition of the annual film gala is set to kickoff here with its opening ceremony being attended by Bollywood stars Salman Khan and Ranveer Singh, among others.
Referring to various new initiatives being launched in the latest edition of the festival, Thakur said IFFI 2021 will have "many firsts."
"It is a festival of many firsts and I'm confident that IFFI will become a much bigger platform in the future. We'll make the effort that from our 75th year of Independence to the 100th year, IFFI will grow on to become a bigger platform for the film community and become an ideal destination for world cinema," the union minister told reporters here.
For the year 2021, the festival organisers have announced a partnership with five OTT platforms -- Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Zee5, Voot and SonyLiv.
The festival will also launch the initiative 75 Creative Minds, under which, 75 young filmmakers, actors, singers, scriptwriters, and others will be given the opportunity to interact with renowned directors and artists from the world of cinema.
"For the first time, OTT platforms are also participating in IFFI and 75 young creative minds from various parts of the country were picked to be part of this festival so that they can get exposure and experience.
"It is also for the first time that the BRICS Film Festival will be held on the sidelines of IFFI and five great films from five countries will be screened," Thakur said.
The festival will also confer the first-ever Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement Award to Hollywood legend Martin Scorsese and Hungarian filmmaker Istevan Szabo.
Though the two directors are not attending the festival, their pre-recorded messages will be played at the opening ceremony.
"The Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement award is meant for international category and this year, it will be bestowed upon legendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese and Istevan Szabo.
"Both of them are big names in the international cinema. They have agreed to this award and it proves that IFFI as an attractive platform for not just Indians but also for people from all over the world. We will consistently make efforts to ensure that IFFI as a platform becomes even bigger," Thakur said.
Asked about regional movies leading the Indian Panorama section, Thakur asserted that India is a land of many cultures and every regional language has its own importance.
"Be it Tamil, Telugu or Bengali films, today regional cinema has a significant hold over the minds of the viewers. And not just nationally, regional films are being recognised all over the world.
"So in Indian Panorama, whether in feature or non-feature, audiences will get to see something new and different," the union minister added.
Thakur also remembered the contribution of late union minister and four-time Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar in making the state the permanent venue for IFFI.
"It is the result of Parrikarji's hard work and had he been here today, then he would have been very happy," he added.
The 52nd edition of International Film Festival of India is being organised by the Directorate of Film Festivals, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in collaboration with the Goa government. The nine-day film gala will take place in a hybrid format -- virtual and physical -- till November 28.