The third edition of Guwahati International Film Festival (GIFF) gets underway with the screening of Iranian film ‘Komur’ (The Charcoal) at Srimanta Sankardeva International Auditorium in Guwahati on Thursday.
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.
Inaugurating the festival, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said that the festival has been able to bring integration among the nations across the globe.
“This is how the filmmaking efforts have got the world closer to each other. I am proud that this particular assembly has brought together luminaries from different parts of the world. I am sure our young generation will get motivated with this kind of assembly,” said Sonowal.
Addressing the filmmakers present in the dais during the inaugural session, especially Madhur Bhandarkar, the CM urged them to come to shoot their films in Assam.
The CM said that the state has rich natural resources, cultural heritage and pool of talented artists who have excelled in world cinema. Referring to the successes of celebrated actor Adil Hussain and director Rima Das, Sonowal said that the festival would help the young filmmakers to cope up with international cinema.
Sonowal further underlined Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s special focus in giving renewed boost to development in the north eastern region.
Noted Polish film and theatre director Krzystof Zanussi, who attended the event as chief guest, speaking on the occasion, said that films reached newer heights today. He said that festival is a strong vehicle to showcase world cinema which is otherwise not available to local people on commercial basis. He also appreciated the state government’s initiative in organizing the GIFF.
Minister of State for Cultural Affairs (i/c) Naba Kumar Doley, Ambassador of South Korea Shin Bong-kil, Ambassador of Taiwan Tien Chung Kwang, Ambassador of Hungary Gyula Petho, High Commissioner of Trinidad and Tobago Stacey Karen Hinds, noted film maker Madhur Bhandarkar and actor Adil Hussain also spoke on the occasion.
Chairman of Jyoti Chitraban Pabitra Margherita delivered the welcome speech, Festival Director Monita Borgohain threw light on different aspects of the festival. Eminent filmmaker Aribam Shyam Sharma, Grammy award winner Ricky Kej and Commissioner and Secretary of Cultural Affairs Department Preetom Saikia were also present in the inaugural ceremony.
Iran will be the country focus this year. 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.
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.