Anurag Thakur: Do you want to make India a global content hub: Anurag Thakur ahead of IFFI 2022 Opening Ceremony

Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur on Sunday said the government aims to hold the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) as a one-stop destination for content creation, filmmaking and photography. The 53rd edition of the nine-day festival is set to kick off here with film personalities including Ajay Devgn, Kartik Aaryan, Pankaj Tripathi, Manoj Bajpai, Sunil Shetty, Varun Dhawan and Sara Ali Khan at the opening ceremony. The festival runs until November 28.

“IFFI is the largest film festival in Asia and we are in its 53rd edition… We want to establish this as a platform where prominent filmmakers, directors and artists of the country and the world get a chance to showcase their films. We want to make India a global hub for content,” Thakur told reporters before the opening ceremony here. Whether it be content creation, co-production, filmmaking or photography.

On the 75th anniversary of India’s independence through the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav initiative, the union minister said the focus is not only on celebrating excellence in cinema but also on creating a collaborative ecosystem for the Indian film industry to go global through the film market (market).

The Film Market, which will be organized for five days, aims to discover, support and showcase South Asian content and talents in filmmaking, production and distribution in order to collaborate with the international cinematic fraternity. “As we celebrate Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, our plan is to develop India as the most sought-after destination for filmmakers, co-production and post-production and the largest market in the world.

“I am sure that India has all the capabilities and capabilities with trained and skilled manpower. Also, the way technology is being used in India, now we have the power to make the regional content international,” the union minister said.

For the first time, the market area will include pavilions for countries and states as well as private organisations. Countries participating in the market include Bihar, Punjab, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra. Russia and France will also have a significant presence in the film market.

Describing India as a “land of stories”, Thakur said the world was still unaware of the capabilities of Indian storytelling. He added that as a cinema-loving country, the need lies in strengthening and benefiting from this soft power.

“India is a country full of stories. No other country can offer such stories as well as skilled and affordable manpower…

“The festival is also a major platform for regional filmmakers to come and showcase their work. ‘RRR’, a regional film, has become an international film. The film not only did business but also showed the power of Indian storytelling,” he said.

The Union Minister also reported that approximately 40 percent of the films shown at the festival, within two sections inside and outside the competition, are either directed or presented by women.

“Much like real life, cinema is incomplete without the participation of women. We try to make sure their work is shown and promoted as much as possible. This year, nearly 40 percent of the films shown here are made by women filmmakers or center around women’s stories.”

The 53rd IFFI, jointly conducted by the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) and Entertainment Goa (ESG), will feature a retrospective on Dadasaheb Phalke Award winner Asha Parekh and Spanish filmmaker Carlos Saura, who will be honored with the Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement Award. at the opening ceremony.

As part of the retrospective, Saura’s eight films, including “La Caza del Conejo” and “Ana Y Los Lobos”, will be screened during the ceremony. Barkh’s “Teesri Manzil”, “Do Badan” and “Kati Patang” will also be screened.

The Austrian film “Alma and Oscar”, directed by Dieter Berner, is the opening film this year. A total of 280 films from 79 countries will be shown at IFFI.

To celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Manipuri Cinema, the festival will screen five feature films and five non-fiction films, sponsored by the Manipur State Film Development Association under the Panorama of India. Pioneers of Manipuri films like Aripam Shyam Sharma, Okin Amaksham, Nirmala Chanu, Purun Thukchum and Romi Mitty will be in attendance.

Films from the National Film Archives of India – including Sohrab Modi’s “Nausherwan-E-Adil” (1957), Ramesh Maheshuri’s “Nanak Nam Jahaz Hai” (1969), and K Vishwanath’s 1980 film “Sankarabharnam” and “Shatranj Ke’s “Satyajit Ray’s Khiladi” (1977) as well as “Ganashatru” (1989) – will be featured by the NFDC in their “Recovered Indian Classics” section.

IFFI 53 is the first full physical edition of the festival post the COVID-19 pandemic. The last two releases were held in a mixed format.

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