Matching global trends, the 42nd International Film Festival of India is going to do many things for the first time
For the first time, movies backed by animation, 3D and digital technology will find prominence at the upcoming 42nd International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa as organisers want to bring global trends to India while showcasing the vast variety of domestic cinema. Keeping true to its theme of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’, which translates to ‘The Whole World is One Family’, the 11-day film extravaganza, starting November 23, aims to be a one-stop-shop for cultural exchange between Indian filmmakers as well as artists and cinema experts from several countries, according to Shankar Mohan, Director, IFFI.
“Internationally, the world of cinema is huge. Today, the technology is so rapid that films are being made on cellphones. So one has to be very careful while designing a film festival – to decide what elements would you like to have, what kind of films you’d like to have, what kind of technology would you like to have, and how it would value add to the audience and delegates that you would have,” said Mohan.
For the first time the organisers curated a section on animation films titled Sketches on Screen, which will bring together the premiere of cutting-edge animation projects like The Flying Machine and Fat Short Bald Man.
Pointing out another new addition, Mohan said: “We are going to bring in a 3D section…. We also have some eminent names from the animation industry and they will conduct a conference on 3D and animation during the festival,” he added. Mohan feels the exchange of ideas and skill between international and Indian animators will facilitate good business prospects.
“A lot of back-end work in animation is happening in India due to cheap labour, but that is not the true picture as far as India is concerned. We are able to do some of the best works that can compete with any other animators abroad. So we thought, let us bring some of the recent animation films that have been talked about…and screen them, and initiate a discussion with our filmmakers and their filmmakers,” said Mohan.
The upsurge in digital technology will also be reflected in this edition of IFFI as they are going beyond the 35mm format. IFFI, which is also set to get a new look and feel in its creatives thanks to National Award-winning art director Thota Tharani, is expected to see the presence of international cinematic luminaries like Karen Shakhnazarov, Ben Wheatley, Laurence Kardish, Hugh Welchman, Zbigniew Preisner, Michelle Yeoh, Luc Besson and Milcho Manchevski. They will share, ideate and present their visions for the cinema at the forum.
The festival, where eminent French filmmaker Bertrand Tavernier will be honoured with the Lifetime Achievement award, has other firsts too. There will be a ‘Soccer in Cinema’ package, a separate section of films, based on the theme of football, to be showcased everyday to the general public through outdoor screenings. Typical Hindi movies enjoy good fan following in Poland, and IFFI decided to familiarise Indian film aficionados with Polish movies by bringing some of the best tales told by fillmakers in Poland. The country focus this year is the US for the first time and as many as 67 popular American films will be screened at IFFI.
A separate section on Rabindranath Tagore has been curated for the poet’s 150th birth centenary, and another section has been planned for children, for which international films, as well as films from Children’s Film Society of India (CFSI) are being brought in.
The Indian Panaroma section will see 24 feature films, dominated by Malayalam projects.
“For the first time, we have brought in documentaries this time. It used to be a feature film festival primarily. So we have brought in a section for the documentaries, besides the Indian Panaroma,” said Mohan.
The fest will host a retrospective of Luc Besson, an eminent French filmmaker who has been involved with over 50 films; and that of Australian director Phillip Noyce.