Preparations were on in full swing for the third edition of Guwahati International Film Festival on Wednesday

The Guwahati International Film Festival has become one of the first single-use plastic free film festivals in India.

The third edition of Guwahati International Film Festival (GIFF) began on Thursday with a host of dignitaries taking part in the inaugural session of the festival at Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra.

Speaking at the inaugural session, Chairman of Jyoti Chitraban, Pabitra Margherita said that GIFF is trying its best to dissuade people from using single-use plastic and thus is “probably the first single-use plastic free film festival in India.”

“I am glad to inform you today that we have refrained from using single-use plastic while preparing the festival venue. Also, we want everyone’s support, throughout the next 7 days, in keeping this festival single-use plastic free. GIFF is probably the first film festival in India to be single-use plastic free,” he said.

Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, renowned Polish filmmaker Krzysztof Zanussi and a host of ambassadors from various countries took part in the inaugural session of the film festival.

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 screen more than 100 films from around 65 countries.

Besides Zanussi, the inaugural session also witnessed the presence of legendary Manipuri filmmaker Aribam Syam Sharma, popular Bollywood filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar, Assam’s very own Adil Hussain of international repute and Grammy award winner Rickey Kej among others.

“We are also pleased to have director Esmaeel Monsef and producer Nasim Mahmoudi of ‘Komur’ (Charcoal) from Iran which will be our opening film,” Margherita said, while talking to The News Mill.

The ambassadors of South Korea, Shin-Kil, Taiwan Tien Chung-Kwang and Hungary Gyula Petho were also present during the inaugural session.

This year Iran is the country-focus of the festival. Apart from that, the Region of Focus is Latin America and Caribbean countries.

Festival director Monita Borgohain said 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 cine buffs at GIFF,” Borgohain told The News Mill.

The films to be screened are divided in eight categories — World Cinema, Indian Showcase, Competition Section, Northeast Kaleidoscope, Tribute To Girish Karnad And Mrinal Sen, Retrospective Section Of Krzysztof Zanussi and 150 years of celebrating the Mahatma.

The competition section, which was limited to the Northeast only in the previous editions, has been expanded to include films from across the country.

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