Since my Mitaroy Heritage Homestay in Fontainhas is only a short drive away from the official venue, it is difficult not to get excited when the IFFI Goa finally gets underway!

The 43rd International Film Festival of India (popularly known as IFFI Goa) was inaugurated in Panaji, Goa, on Tuesday in a glittering ceremony that celebrated the 100 years of Indian cinema! 

Bollywood superstar and actor Akshay Kumar was the chief guest at this year’s IFFI Goa and he used the occasion to pay tribute to yesteryear superstar Rajesh Khanna and other film personalities who passed away recently, Mr Kumar asked everyone to observe a minute’s silence in their honour.

The famous Polish filmmaker Krzysztof Zanussi was awarded the lifetime achievement award at the event while the opening film Life of Pi (seen in the photo above), directed by the Oscar winner Ang Lee, was screened to a packed house.

Speaking on the occasion, Goa chief minister and IFFI Goa organiser Mr. Manohar Parikkar said that “though eight years have passed since the IFFI awards we still have a lot to do in terms of making this festival an international event,”.

A century of Indian cinema is indeed something for all Indian movie buffs to be proud of. Thanks largely to its well known blockbusters but also its offbeat films such as the recent award winning movie ‘Road Movie” by Dev Benegal, Bollywood has managed to take the world by storm. Today, both Bollywood as well as it’s most famous son Shahrukh Khan have become household names from countries like Austria to Australia. 

However, as rightly mentioned by Goa chief minister and IFFI Goa organiser Mr Manohar Parrikar, even though IFFI Goa has been held for the past 8 years, there is still lots that needs to be done to further promote this event and make it a truly international event. Apart from making it easier for movie buffs to register and buy tickets, efforts need to be made to streamline and improve the organisation of the event. A leaf can be taken out of Germany’s book. Germany manages to hold events with millions of visitors (such as the Oktoberfest in Munich or the ITB Berlin Travel Fair) with typical German efficiency. This is surely something Goa can copy. 

But what truly makes the IFFI unique is the location itself. Goa is not only a beach destination but also boasts of great tangible and intangible heritage such as the World Heritage Site of Old Goa as well as the Heritage Conservation Zone of Fontainhas (that is also home to my Mitaroy Heritage Homestay). 

It is time that Goa highlights its rich cultural heritage and what better a stage than the IFFI Goa…


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