The ninth Ajanta-Ellora International Film Festival will be held in Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar from January 3, the organisers have announced.
The five-day festival will kick off at Rukmini Auditorium on the MGM University campus.
The opening ceremony will be attended by filmmakers R Balki, Anubhav Sinha and Principal Secretary of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Apurva Chandra, the organisers told reporters on Saturday.
Ashok Rane, festival director, said German-Finnish film "Fallen Leaves" will open the gala. Palme d'Or winning French courtroom drama "Anatomy of a Fall" will bring the curtain down on the latest edition of the festival on January 7, Rane added.
Veteran lyricist-screenwriter Javed Akhtar will be felicitated with the Padmapani Lifetime Achievement Award on the inaugural day.
Besides film screenings at Prozone Mall, the festival will also host events such as short film competitions, Indian film competition, master classes with Sinha and Balki, as well as interactive sessions.
The winning film team will be awarded the Golden Kailasha Award and a cash prize of ₹1 lakh. Winners in best actor, actress and script categories will also receive awards at the festival.
Veteran actor and director Dhritiman Chatterjee will head the Indian film competition jury, which also consists of cinematographer Dimo Popov, director Nachiket Patwardhan, film critic Rashmi Doraiswamy, cinematographer Hari Nair, said chairman of organising committee Nandkishor Kagliwal.
FIPRESCI India awards will also be given to the winning films, Kagliwal added.
During the course of the gala, PIB senior officer Prakash Magdum will deliver a special lecture on 'Gandhi and Cinema' and Chatterjee will speak at a session titled 'Understanding Mrinal Sen' on the master filmmaker.
An interactive session with directors participating in the film competitions and a film appreciation workshop are also scheduled, said festival's artistic director Chandrakant Kulkarni.
The gala, earlier called Aurangabad International Film Festival (AIFF), is organised by Nath Group, Yashwantrao Chavan Centre, Mumbai and MGM University.