IFFI 2007: Pakistani movie to debut, Manipur films back

The 38th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) beginning in the picturesque Goa capital Friday will be a bouquet of several firsts - a Pakistani film, the comeback of Manipuri films after 11 years and advance ticket booking for general movie-goers.

The 11-day festival, to be inaugurated by Bollywood badshah Shah Rukh Khan, will begin with the Palme d'Or winning Romanian film "Four Months, Three Weeks and Two Days" by C. Istian Mungiu.

But the highlight of the festival will be the Naseerudin Shah-starrer "Khuda Ke Liye", the first-ever Pakistani movie to be screened at IFFI.

Directed by Shoaib Mansoor, the thought-provoking drama is a joint venture by Pakistan, India and the US. It focuses on the dilemma of progressive Muslims in their country because of their modern approach towards life. The cast includes Fawad Afzal Khan, Iman Ali and Hameed Sheikh.

Manipuri cinema will make a comeback after 11 years with Makhonmani Mongsaba's "Yenning Amadi Likla" in the feature film section of the Indian Panorama, along with 20 other films.

Apart from that, Aribam Syam Sharma's 58-minute documentary "Rajarshi Bhagyachandra of Manipur" and Haobam Paban Kumar's 19-minute short fiction "Ngaihak Lambida" are among the 15 non-feature films. The last Manipuri feature film at IFFI was Sham Sharma's "Sanabi", which was screened in 1996.

The Indian Panorama will have 21 features and 15 non-feature films. The Cinema of the World section will have about 60 award winning feature films from 40 countries.

There will be no beach screenings this year, but popular cinema can still be seen in multiplexes as part of the fest.

For the first time, a ticketing system has been introduced whereby every delegate will have to book in advance films that he or she would like to see. A maximum of three tickets for every delegate and five for every mediaperson will be issued.

Film India Worldwide curated by Uma da Cunha and introduced last year will showcase AIDS awareness movies made under the 'AIDS JaaGo' programme.

The list includes US-based Indian filmmaker Mira Nair's "Migration", Farhan Akhtar's "Positive", Santosh Sivan's "Prarambha" and Vishal Bharadwaj's "Blood Brothers", apart from Christopher Smith's "The Pool" and Richie Mehta's "Amal".

The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs will present a retrospective on living together with "Samia" by Philippe Faucon, "When You Come Down from Heaven" by Eric Guirard, "What's Going On?" by Rabah Ameur-Zaïmeche, "My Neighbours" by Malik Chibane, "Zim & Co" by Pierre Jolivet and "Forgetting Cheyenne" by Valérie Minetto as part of the bouquet.

The retrospective this year will be on Bengali director Tapan Sinha and Bollywood filmmaker Vijay Anand.

The festival will also pay homage to ace cinematographer K.K. Mahajan, actress Vanamala Devi and music director O.P. Nayyar with special screenings.

The tribute section will screen Swedish Master Ingmar Bergman's "Smiles of a Summer Night", "The Seventh Seal", "Wild Strawberries" and "The Magician".

The Indian Panorama will have two movies each of Bengal maestro Buddhadeb Dasgupta and southern heavyweight Adoor Gopalakrishnan. Sameer Hanchante's "Gafla", Samir Chanda's "Ek Nadir Galpo" and Bhavna Talwar's "Dharm" will be part of the section.

The highlights in the foreign section include 14 feature films from Asia, Africa and Latin America in the competitive section.

The [email protected] section, which will celebrate 60 years of independence, will screen four documentaries based on the spirit of freedom and patriotism.

The Navya Movement in Kannada language has inspired a generation of filmmakers and marked a turning point in Kannada cinema. Three landmark Kannada films - Pattabhi Rama Reddy's "Samskara", Late B.V. Karanth's "Chomana Dudi" and Girish Kasravalli's "Ghatashraddha" - will be screened under the Navya Movement and Kannada Cinema.

Critically-acclaimed Portuguese-Spanish film "Fados -Melding of Culture, Customs and Sound" will bring the curtain down on the festival Dec 3.

Indo-Asian News Service