The International Film Festival of India 2014 got off to a glittering start at Panjim, Goa on November 20. The highlight of the evening was South superstar Rajinikanth receiving the Centenary Award for Indian Film Personality of the Year from actor and close friend Amitabh Bachchan, the chief guest at the fest this year.
"I am honoured," Rajinikanth had earlier said in an exclusive interview to NDTV.
Mr Bachchan told NDTV about his family's cordial relations with Rajinikanth and his family and called the South superstar a "wonderful human being" and an "incredible phenomenon." About the award given to Rajinikanth, Mr Bachchan said, "It's not enough."
Actors Raveena Tandon and Anupam Kher, who hosted the opening ceremony of IFFI 2014 welcomed the VIP guests on stage to light the inaugural lamp. Those who performed the honours included actors Amitabh Bachchan and Rajinikanth, South actor Pawan Kalyan, Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi, Goa's Governor Mridula Sinha, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and Minister for Information and Boradcasting Arun Jaitley, among others.
In his speech, Mr Bachchan reflected on the evolution of Indian Cinema and said that film was a popular platform to reflect social concerns. This year's edition has celebrated film personalities from all over the world on its jury.
Slawomir Idziak from Poland, who is also the jury chairman, is a noted cinematographer, screenwriter, director and lecturer. He has worked with cinema legends Krzysztof Kieslowski, Andrzej Wajda and Krzysztof Zanussi and has received a number of awards and distinctions in Berlin, Venice, Prague, Auckland and Gdynia.
He has also been nominated for BAFTA Cesar and Oscar awards.
Others on the jury include Bandit Queen actress Seema Biswas, New York-based writer Marie Brenner and Nadia Dresti, the head of International Locarno Film Festival.