The 42nd International Film Festival of India with its inherent theme of 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam' meaning 'The Whole World is One Family' is successfully moving forward.
For delegates there are so many movies of their taste including documentaries, classics, feature and non-feature films in various Indian as well as foreign languages. This time some technologically advanced films including Three Dimensional are also being screened.
The atmosphere at the main venue, Macquence Palace, fills with oomph when some of the Indian actors, especially female, come to watch their movie in theatres. They create flutter amongst the public for some time and then everything starts moving at the same pace.
Madhuri Dixit was one such beautiful actress whose presence at the Macquence Palace mesmerized everyone. Where delegates (read general public) were eager to just have a look of this Dhak..Dhak..lady, photo-journalists were all the more excited to have a best 'kill' of the day. Despite having advanced cameras with which one can click a good picture from some distance, they were having close-ups from close quarters.
The visits were later followed by Hollywood based Indian actress, Freido Pinto, pretty Kalki Koechlin, not-so-old, Padmani Kolhapure, lanky Preeti Jhangiani.
Jackie Shroff aka Jackie Dada also attracted many with his Bumbeea language........'Eh Beeru.....Dekh tu meri baat sun na......
Going by the response of the people films are getting here, a director of the stature of Phillip Noyce from Australia who has films like Newsfront, Dead Calm, Blind Fury, The Bone Collector and Salt, to his credit, has termed this festival a gift to filmmakers. He even said the Indian market has opened up to global movies and the acceptability of international projects has flourished here.
Francisco Manso, Director of Portuguese film, 'The Consul of Bordeaux', which was the opening movie of the event, was also charmed by the response his and other movies are getting.
An Argentinian filmmaker, Pablo Cesar, who is intended to make a film on India's literary giant, Gurudev Rabindra Nath Tagore, for the first time has announced here that he wants Amitabh Bachchan to play the lead role.
Meanwhile, IFFI, for the first time in its history has included social responsibility as part of the festival by taking up the cause of intellectually challenged people. What was purely an entertainment and cultural event, will now have a much needed social dimension as well.
SAATH, a group of more than 250 parents from across the country, led by a Fellow of IIM, Ahemdabad, Shalini Gupta has convinced the IFFI top shot to take the initiative.
So, a special segment was created and three short films titled 'JANAM', 'AAGAZH' and 'PARVAAZ' were shown at the festival for public awareness. These were about true stories of intellectually challenged children narrated by their parents out of which some of them were present there.
For those who love documentaries, there is good news for them. The Indian Documentary Producers Association (IDPA) led by Mike Pandey, has entered into an agreement with Doordarshan to documentaries on social issues at prime time on Sunday mornings from January onwards. These films will be telecast on various Doordarshan channels in different Indian languages over five years.
Passing through good times, the festival had an unpleasant day also when a Brazilian filmaker, Oscar Maron Filho died of severe heart attack during an Open Forum event.
However, following a well-known phrase in the show business that 'The Show Must Go On', the festival will go on till December 3rd, hopefully without any hindrance, whether Natural or manmade
Rajesh C. Bali, AIR Correspondent