IFFI reels roll; Madhuri adds glitz



The 54th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) kicked off here in Goa with 'dhak-dhak girl' of Bollywood Madhuri Dixit electrifying the stage during the opening ceremony at the Shyama Prasad Mukherjee indoor stadium, Bambolim with her performance to the beats of her hit songs.

Apart from Dixit, there were performances by other Bollywood names like Shahid Kapoor, Shriya Saran and Nushratt Bharucha besides Shreya Goshal.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur who was chief guest at the ceremony urged India's film personalities to unitedly help make 'IFFI Goa' the world's topmost film festival by 2047. 

Besides Dixit, performances by Shahid Kapoor, Sukhwinder Singh and Nushratt Bharucha's dancing on Pushpa song "Saami Saami" and Jawan song "Not Ramaiya Vastavaiya" added glitz to the ceremony.  

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, in his brief speech at the ceremony, said his government was working towards making Goa a hub of film making.

"We believe that the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) will help in promoting Goa as a film friendly destination," Sawant said.

Earlier a roving festival in major Indian cities, IFFI which is the world's 14th biggest international film festival has made Goa its permanent home since 2004.

The chief minister said, a 'Film City' will be set up in Goa in the fast track mode and in a time bound manner. 

The nine-day festival will have the 'Film Bazaar' which is South Asia’s largest global film market hosted by National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) and an array of world cinema. The international premiere of Catching Dust, by award-winning British filmmaker Stuart Gatt was screened as the opening film.

Meanwhile, Hollywood legend Michael Douglas will be awarded the prestigious Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement Award during the festival which will see more than 270 films screened at 4 venues -- INOX Panjim, Maquinez Palace, INOX Porvorim and Z Square Samrat Ashok.

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