The 43rd edition of IFFI will
kickstart tomorrow with Akshay Kumar flagging off the
cinematic extravaganza that will showcase 100-year-old journey
of Indian cinema besides screening of nationally and
internationally acclaimed movies.
Oscar-winning filmmaker Ang Lee's Indian story Life of
Pi is making its Asian premiere by opening the festival while
Mira Nair's Reluctant Fundamentalist will be the closing
Bollyood singer Kailash Kher and a dance troupe
choreographed by Saroj Khan will be performing at the opening
ceremony of the 11-day-long festival, which will be followed
by the screening of Life of Pi in 3D. The Hollywood movie,
which marks the debut of Delhi boy Suraj Sharma as Pi, is a
major attraction at IFFI.
Though Lee won't be present himself, the film's cast Tabu
and Irffan Khan will be walking the red carpet at the
The Reluctant Fundamentalist, a book adaptation of
Pakistani author Mohsin Hamid's celebrated novel of the same
name, is coming to IFFI after making a buzz in international
film circuits. The film stars Liev Schreiber, Kate Hudson, Riz
Ahmed and Kiefer Sutherland.
When asked whether the cast of the movie will attend the
festival, IFFI director Shankar Mohan said, "We are not sure
about that. It is on Mira who she can get along. These actors
are very busy and have prior contracts. So we cannot name who
The festival is celebrating 100 years of cinema with a
special centenary package this year which will feature 27
films, 36 documentaries covering all the eras of cinema from
black and white, silent to coloured.
"We are not representing Indian cinema but trying to
celebrate it. It is very difficult to portray 100 years in a
small package so we have tried to represent it as
authentically as possible. To get these old movies is very
difficult so we were dependent on National Film Archives of
India and Films Division," Mohan said.
To celebrate the centenary, IFFI will be staging a 20-
minute dialogue between Dadasaheb Phalke and his wife
Savitri. The skit, made by Phalke's grand niece Sharayu
Phalke, throws light on what inspired Phalke to make India's
first full-length feature film Raja Harishchandra in 1913.
Theatre artist Mohammad Ali Baig has directed the play
and will be playing the role of Phalke while actress Lillete
Dubey will play Savitri. It is curated by filmmaker M S
"We have a biography on Dadasaheb Phalke made by his
grand niece which we will showcase. To celebrate the 100 years
of cinema we thought it is just apt to do this. It is a 20-
minute dialogue between Phalke and his wife Savitri which will
be adapted into a skit," Mohan added.
The lifetime achievement award will be given to renowned
Polish filmmaker Krzysztof Zanussi, man behind acclaimed films
like Camouflage and Family Life. The 73-year-old director
will be presented with a cash prize of Rs 10 lakh.
Indian-American film producer Ashok Amritraj, Muzaffar
Ali, Girish Kasaravalli, Kim Ki-duk and Susan Baer will also
be present at the festival.
IFFI has sections like International Competition, which
will have 15 films from 18 countries, Cinema of the World,
which will screen 52 movies and A Cut Above, where the movies
are not in competition but will be screened for its
outstanding content. There is also a section titled 'Master
Other sections include Country Focus, Indian Panorama,
Indian Retrospectives and Tributes, Animation and 3D cinema
and Film Bazaar.
Indian Panorama section will screen 20 feature films and
19 documentaries. Jahnu Barua's Baandhon will be the opening
the feature film section while Celluloid Man, based on P K
Nair's life and work will open the non-feature film section.
Mohan said IFFI has progressed immensely over the year
and in the coming years it can be called as "Cannes of the
"Although it is not good to draw comparisons between
festivals but we have changed our pattern and choices of films
so much that I am sure in the coming years we will be par at
other international film festivals," Mohan said.