IFFI's Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam theme dazzles world cinema

By Sulena Majumdar Arora
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The magic of Indian cinema, uniting with foreign films, is teaching the culture of art to the world in the form of IFFI.
JAI HO to Bhartiya cinema.

The world is watching with astonishment and joy how India is being placed in the headlines of world news with its new developments. Even though the World Cup lacked a bit, but beating many countries in the competition and coming face to face with the finalist is no less a feat. After this sporting stir, the 54th International Film Festival of India (IFFI), Goa, which started with a grand and star-studded ceremony at the Dr. Syama Prasad Mukherjee Indoor Stadium in Panaji, was welcomed by the world cinema industry with open and wide eyes. The world is watching the fest with their whole concentration. And Why not? Now it has been proved that many such innovative developments are taking place in the Indian cinema world, from which the Western cinema world should also learn lessons.

Union Minister for Information, Broadcasting, Youth Affairs and Sports, Shri Anurag Singh Thakur stole the show by taking center stage at the inaugural event, winning everyone's hearts while also surprising the Indian film industry with many pleasant surprises. He was accompanied by the Chief Minister of Goa, Dr.Pramod Sawant, Minister of State (MoS) for Information and Broadcasting Dr. L. Murugan, Minister of State for Tourism Shri Shripad Naik, actor and MP Shri Sunny Deol, and many other notable dignitaries. The world of entertainment learned with amazement, about a new form of togetherness, and how the film industry can also be tied into one family.

The theme of the 2023 edition of IFFI this time, was 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam' whose concept revolves around one world and one family, as expressed by Shri Thakur in his previous remarks. He always believes that cinema can serve as a powerful tool to promote peace, progress, and prosperity in this divided world.

Highlighting the global reach of IFFI, with a record-breaking 2,926 entries from 105 countries, Shri Thakur highlighted that **It Happens Only in India**. This tremendous surge in participation reflects the growing importance of IFFI at the international level. During his positive speech, Mr. Thakur announced a huge incentive scheme for foreign film production in India, offering reimbursement of up to 40% of the cost incurred in producing entertainment, thereby increasing the limit to ₹30. Crore was announced. This growth reflects India's commitment to fully supporting artistic expression and strengthens its position as an attractive destination for filmmakers.

The grand opening ceremony hosted by Karishma Tanna and Aparshakti Khurana, celebrated Bollywood star Madhuri Dixit Nene being honored with the 'Special Recognition' award for being a part of   'IFFI' for the past several years and her invaluable contribution to Indian cinema. There is a wave of joy among the fans and the Dixit family. The honor recognizes her significant impact on the Indian film industry.

The IFFI Utsav (event), which has been held consistently for the last many years in the colorful valleys of Goa, once again in 2023 is not only a celebration of shimmering cinematic achievements but also a visual and aural feast featuring Nushrat Bharucha, Shahid Kapoor And Shriya Saran's high energetic performance as well as Sukhwinder Singh and Shreya Ghoshal's rendition of soulful songs was also applauded. Just imagine, if the first evening of the event was so exciting, what would the whole week be like?
The audience gathered at this 4,000-seat hall to a house full venue, creating an electrifying atmosphere of applause and appreciation with every performance, proving and showcasing to the world, what it means to enjoy the arts.

Noted South actor Vijay Sethupathi took the opportunity to present his upcoming film, "Gandhi Talks" at this glittering IFFI event. The much talked about film is a silent drama co-starring Arvind Swamy and Aditi Rao Hydari, with music by the famous AR Rahman.  Sethupathi expressed his excitement to share this unique cinematic experience with the IFFI audience and said that there could not be a better platform than this.

As this IFFI Festival spreads its magic for nine days, it is obvious that a wide variety of films from India and around the world are showcased in it. This year's festival features over 270 films from 105 countries that aim to shock and transform the cinematic landscape of the world, Indian cinema and IFFI 2023 promises to be a cinematic extravaganza, that presents a rich history of storytelling and cultural diversity and how it has the ability to do it. Highlighting the impact that Indian cinema has had on the world. Hollywood legend Michael Douglas, known for his superhit and iconic films, like "Fatal Attraction," "Wall Street," and "Basic Instinct,"  will also organize a Masterclass, which will add to the grandeur of concluding the IFFI Festival with some more meaning that will lead to perfection. Michael Douglas will also receive the prestigious IFFI Lifetime Achievement Award at the IFFI closing ceremony.

This year, the IFFI Festival has introduced the Best Web Series (OTT) Award in recognition of the growing streaming sector in India, during and after the coronavirus period, which is a novel initiative and debut by India in the world film festival space. Nominees in this category include, 'Panchayat Season 2,' 'Humans,' 'Nirmal Pathak Ki Ghar Wapsi,' and 'Rocket Boys Season 2.' The jury for the OTT Awards is headed by renowned Indian filmmaker Mr. Rajkumar Hirani, which adds credibility to this new aspect of IFFI.

Apart from competitive categories, the mega festival provides a platform for all professionals and enthusiasts from the film industry to connect with the latest trends and developments in cinema. Apart from this, the Film Market components of IFFI, the 17th edition of NFDC Film Bazaar provide opportunities for discussions on networking, and collaborations.

IFFI 2023 did not hold back in showcasing the glitz and glamor of the entertainment industry on its platform. Giving a glamorous look to the IFFI celebrations, the presence of Bollywood stars Sara Ali Khan, Karan Johar, Shahid Kapoor, and other Bollywood biggies not only added to their prestige but also adorned to the atmosphere of the week-long film festival. Each of these Bollywood stars added their own unique style to the festivities. Sara Ali Khan graced the stage with grandeur, ready to mesmerize the audience with her spectacular glam-sham performance, while dignitaries from the film industry of the country and abroad, watched eagerly to the Bollywood's evergreen star Dhak Dhak girl Madhuri Dixit who graced the award function with her handsome husband Dr Shriram Nene. The audience was very happy to see this power couple. Madhuri took the audience to the Bollywood atmosphere of the '90s and 2000's once again with her mesmerizing dance moves on the IFFI stage songs from films like "Devdas," "Aaja Nachle," and "Kalank" and gave everyone a nostalgic journey.

Shahid Kapoor too showed off his style and made a stylish entry with a motorcycle blaring to the tune of his blockbuster film "Kabir Singh". Shahid Kapoor's performance on the IFFI stage showcased the evolution of Indian cinema over the last 25 years, highlighting the changing image of Bollywood, including the chartbusters of his films.
Industry veteran filmmaker Karan Johar had a lively discussion on the cinematic evolution on the Indian cinema scene, from his film "Kuch Kuch Hota Hai" in 1998 to his latest project "Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani" in 2023.

Expressing gratitude to everyone for the tremendous love received by the audience for all his films from his debut film till date, he discussed family and love in Indian culture and also the changes in the social environment regarding acceptance of gender equality in today's time.

The presence of influential personalities like Sunny Deol, Vijay Sethupathi, Jisshu Sengupta, Pankaj Tripathi and Sukhwinder Singh at the event is set to contribute to the rich canvas of Indian cinema at IFFI's week-long event.

IFFI 2023, the film festival, is being led by veteran filmmaker director Shekhar Kapur to provide a platform to acknowledge new and old talents and critical analysis. The international jury includes esteemed visionaries such as Spanish cinematographer José Luis Alcín and international producers Jérôme Paillard, Catherine Dussart and Helen Leek.

This entire week-long IFFI Festival not only celebrates cinematic achievements but also provides a platform to interact and explore the evolving landscape of Indian and international cinema. The magic of Indian cinema, merging with foreign films, is showing the culture of art to the world in the form of IFFI. JAI HO to Indian cinema.

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