Iran will be the country of focus this year during the 3rd Guwahati International Film Festival (GIFF) which begins in Guwahati from October 31.

The seven-day festival, organized by the state government-owned Jyoti Chitraban in association with the Dr Bhupen Hazarika Regional Government Film and Television Institute (DBHRGFTI), will be held at the three auditoriums at Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra and one at Jyoti Chitraban.

Assam Cultural Affairs Minister Naba Kumar Doley said that they are extremely proud to host Guwahati International Film Festival which has emerged to be one of the most respected festivals in the country.

“We are glad to inform that we are all set to organize the third edition of Guwahati International Film Festival following the successful first two editions. It has been the meeting point of some of the big names of the world cinema in a very short span of time. This time our country focus will be Iran,” Doley said.

He also said that more than 100 films from around 65 countries will be screened during the festival.

Iranian film ‘The Charcoal’ directed by Esmaeel Monsef will be the opening film of the festival. Director Monsef, who has also produced the film, will be present during the inaugural session.

The story of The Charcoal is based in rural northwest Iran where a modest charcoal producer is pushed into a tragic spiral after his son, sentenced to jail, evades to Azerbaijan.

Pabitra Margherita, chairman of Jyoti Chitraban, said that they are getting some of the best films from Iran. Altogether five films from Iran will be screened during the festival.

“We know the films from Iran. This time, the visitors can watch some of the best from Iran. I hope it will be a wonderful experience for the cinephilia at the GIFF,” Margherita said.

Apart from that, the Region of Focus will be Latin America and Caribbean countries.

Margherita also said that at least 12 ambassadors from Latin American and European countries besides their Asian counterparts will be joining the festival. “Besides, many were willing to be a part of the festival. We are looking into it,” he added.

The films to be screened are divided in eight categories – world cinema, Indian showcase, competition section, northeast kaleidoscope, tribute section to Girish Karnad and Mrinal Sen, retrospective section of renowned Polish filmmaker Krzysztof Zanussi and 150 years of celebrating Mahatma.

The competition section, which was limited to the northeast only in the previous editions, has been expanded to pan India. Festival director Monita Borgohain said that they have received 40 entries and some of the best films from across the country.

Like the previous years, the organizers have continued their attempt to involve the students with the festival. This year, students from Odisha, Tamil Nadu and Kerala will be attending the festival besides the students from all the Northeast states.

Zanussi, one of the widely respected filmmakers of the world, will also be present as the chief guest during the festival.

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