Panaji, (Goa) [India] Nov 20 (ANI): The 49th edition of India's oldest film festival, International Film Festival of India (IFFI) kick started with much pomp and grandeur in Goa's Panaji city on Tuesday.
Goa's Governor Mridula Sinha inaugurated the IFFI in the presence of several dignitaries including Union Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore, Information and Broadcasting secretary Amit Khare and Israeli director Dan Wolman.
The festival had a dramatic start after men beating drums descended on to the stage with wires attached to them. It was followed by dancers shaking a leg to hit movie songs like 'Malhari' and 'Baahubali'.
Celebrities from the movie fraternity like filmmakers like Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, Rahul Rawail, Karan Johar, actors Mrinal Kulkarni, Hrishita Bhatt, Akshay Kumar, union minister Rajyavardhan Rathore among others graced the event.
"The whole idea is to promote Indian film industry and collaborate with foreign film industries. Israel is the focus this time. We've also introduced street cinema where films are being played on the streets," Rathore told reporters at the event.
On the first day of this gala affair, movies from the History film genre will be screened for the numerous cinema lovers visiting IFFI.
The 49th edition of the festival will showcase 212 films, including 16 Oscar-nominated films, from over 68 countries. It will commence on November 20 and culminate on November 28.
In this edition, Israel is the country of focus. Ten films will be showcased in collaboration with the Consulate General of Israel in Mumbai. The opening film for this section is 'The Other Story' directed by Avi Nesher. A special presentation of Tunisian films will also be showcased.
Also, a special package for Visually Impaired Children will be organised with special screenings with the aid of audio description. The festival will even showcase 'Sholay' and 'Hichki' under this section. (ANI)