Panaji (Goa) [India], November 20 (ANI): The 52nd edition of IFFI (International Film Festival of India) has opened up with an extravaganza marking 'Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav' at Goa's Panaji.
The event began with the national anthem closely followed by the lighting of the lamp ceremony by the central, state governments and film personalities.
At the opening ceremony, Anurag Thakur, Minister Information and Broadcasting, while addressing the delegates and the audiences said, "IFFI is embracing new technology and keeping with the pace, giving platforms to artists and Film industry to engage with them."
IFFI recognised 75 young film enthusiasts through '75 Young Creative Minds of Tomorrow".
Apurva Chandra, Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting said, "IFFI52 shows that we have stood up to the challenges posed by the COVID times. There have been 624 entries of #Films from 96 countries; last year, we had entries from 69 countries.
He further stated, "This year there are many firsts at IFFI. For the first time, we have BRICS Film Festival along with IFFI 52. We welcome our diplomatic friends from Brazil, Russia, China, South Africa who are participating in the festival."
L Murugan, Minister of State, Information and Broadcasting said, "India aims to become the attractive destination for Film Making with the focus on ease of doing business, we have opened Film Facilitation Office, for a single point contact to facilitate the filmmakers."
Veteran filmmakers Martin Charles Scorsese and Istevan Szabo received The Satyajit Ray lifetime achievement award.
Through a video message, the filmmaker said, "I keep his films such as Apu- trilogy and other with me all the time. I thank you for this honour and would love to come back to India."
Hema Malini received the Indian Film Personality of the Year 2021 Award at IFFI.
IFFI 52's International Jury, chaired by Rakhshan Banietemad the Iranian Filmmaker was felicitated at the opening ceremony.
The event further invited major OTT players to participate in IFF52 through exclusive Masterclasses, content launches and previews, curated film packages, and various virtual events.
IFFI has been conducted jointly by the state government of Goa and the Directorate of Film Festivals that works under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. The hybrid event will showcase more than 300 films from across the world and will run from November 20 to November 28.
The inaugural event was hosted by filmmaker Karan Johar and anchor Manish Paul. (ANI)