44th IFFI gets underway with Remarkable Grace and Glitz; Mesmerising Performances for Star-Studded Audience; Galaxy of Stars Descends in Panjim: Opens with Screening of ‘Don Juans’; Waheeda Rehman Receives First Centenary Award; Czech Director, Jiri Manzel gets Lifetime Achievement Award

44th edition of International Film
The 44th edition of International Film Festival of India began here amidst colorful and vibrant nostalgic performances. The festival began unfolding with the lighting of the traditional lamp by Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Shri Manish Tewari; Governor of Goa, Shri Bharat VirWanchoo ;Chief Minister of Goa, ShriManoharParrikar; Secretary Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, ShriBimalJulka, the legendary singer, AshaBhonsle, noted Iranian film director, MajidMajidi, chief guest Susan Sarandon and the icon of Bollywood, WaheedaRehman. 

The intoxicating classical performances on numbers like “Mohepanghat per nandlalchedgayo re…”,’Thaderahiyo o bankeyaar re.. “ Kanha main to se haari…” “ MainRadhateri tum era Shyam..” were saturated with both elusive magic and devotional currents. A jugalbandi featuringKathak doyen PanditBirjuMaharaj and sitar maestro UstadNishat Khan enthralled the audience. The galaxy of stars present on the occasion included PremChopra,NanaPatekar, Rekha, Jackie Shroff, Rani Mukherjee,ManojBajpai,HumaQureshi and Alia Bhatt. 

Expressing her gratitude, Susan Sarandon said, ‘India has a rich history of film-making and is always eager to make films which broaden our horizon.’ The multi-dimentional film personality, Kamal Hassan said he owed his success as an artist to the fraternity of the world cinema. Describing her association with the world of cinema, AshaBhonsle acknowledged that seventy years in Indian film industry gave her immense love and affection. 

The actor who mesmerized many a generation with her sterling performance, WaheedaRehman received the first Centenary Award from the Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Shri Manish Tewari and Chief Minister, Goa ShriManoharParrikar, the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award Jiri Menzel was accompanied to the dias by renowned film-maker Ramesh Sippy and his wife, Kiran Sippy. He received the award from Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Chief Minister and Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. Addressing the august gathering, Jiri Menzel said, ‘I feel proud to know that my films are well-accepted here in India’ . 

Earlier welcoming the participants, ShriBimalJulka, Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting said that cinema has been a part and parcel of Indian reality. To promote India as a film destination the Ministry has been taking efforts to put a single-window mechanism in place, he added. He said India is the only country that makes films in 39 languages and dialects.