Akshay to inaugurate IFFI 2012, which opens with Ang Lee’s ‘Life of Pi’
Bollywood superstar Akshay Kumar will inaugurate the 43rd International Film Festival of India, IFFI 2012 on November 20 at a song and dance studded gala featuring The Life of Pi, Academy Award Winning Director Ang Lee’s 3D adaptation of Booker Award winner Yann Martel’s masterful novel by the same name.
The ten day extravaganza will celebrate Indian cinema in its hundredth year of existence and regale cinelovers with more than 200 hand-picked films slotted in special sections like Indian Panorama, Indian and Foreign Retrospectives, Homage, Their Firsts, Festival Kaleidoscope featuring Best of Festival Pictures, Cinema of the World,. There will also be Sketches on Screen (Animation & 3D cinema) Documentaries, Masterclasses, Student Films, Tributes, Country Focus (Turkey), Technical Workshops, and specially curated thematic packages.
Joining Akshay Kumar at red carpet galas will be the cast of Pi, Tabu, Irrfan Khan, Adil Hussain and debutante actor Suraj (Pi) Sharma as well as dance choreographer Saroj Khan, Kailash Kher, Nitin Desai and others; the 43rd IFFI will also bring together a galaxy of regional cinema stars and thespians to Goa.
However, the Taiwanese born US based director who delighted audiences worldwide with ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’, ‘Brokeback Mountain’ and ‘Hulk’ will be attending the Los Angeles premiere November 22 and regretted having to give the 43rd IFFI inaugural a miss.
‘Life of Pi’ tells the story of a young castaway who faces immeasurable hardships on the high seas in the company of a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. Like Herman Melville’s Moby Dick and Earnest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea, Yann Martel’s novel is a spiritual adventure and a meditation on religion, faith, art and life, which Ang Lee has tried to capture onscreen.
Playing the part of 16 year old Piscine Molitor Patel (Pi) of Pondicherry (Puducheri), who survives a shipwreck along with animals like an orangutan, a zebra, a hyena and is stranded on a lifeboat for 227 days with the tiger is first time actor Suraj Sharma who was picked at age 17 from more than 3,000 hopefuls. Interestingly, Suraj’s younger brother Sriharsh has done films such as The Darjeeling Limited (2007)
IFFI 2012 Festival Director Shankar Mohan said “it is a great joy to open the festival with a much awaited movie of a world renowned Director and its India centric theme adds great significance, when we are commemorating the ‘hundred years of Indian Cinema’.”
Eminent Polish filmmaker Krzysztof Zanussi, will be conferred the Lifetime Achievement Award. The 43rd Edition will mark the centenary of Indian cinema with the “Centenary Award” comprising a Silver Peacock, Certificate and a cash prize of Rs. 10 lakh, which will be given to a feature film that “reflects a new paradigm in motion pictures in terms of aesthetics, technique or technological innovation.”
The prestigious award will be decided by an independent jury. The recipients of the awards will be announced on the closing ceremony on November 30, which will be attended by Mira Nair, Kim Ki-duk, Ashok Amritraj among others. IFFI is jointly organised by the Directorate of Film Festivals, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting and the Entertainment Society of Goa which has set up a tent village onthe banks of the Mandovi River for students and budget conscious cineasthetes. ESG has also launched a 48-hour single window clearance for granting clearances for Shooting Films in Goa.
A single application with shooting schedule gets a filmmaker all required permissions against a payment of Rs. 10,000/- per day in Goa within 72 hours. Locations can be chosen with a support crew on approaching ESG with a request. A No Objection Certificate (NOC) is issued by ESG after the money is deposited by the applicant.