Union Minister for Information & Broadcasting, Sports & Youth Affairs Shri Anurag Singh Thakur said that the 54th edition of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI 54) was a celebration of unity in diversity, embodying the spirit of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam: One Earth, One Family One Future’, bringing together creative minds, filmmakers, cinema lovers, and cultural enthusiasts from across the globe. “The clarion call to embrace the philosophy of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ given by our Honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi is being followed in IFFI also. This edition of IFFI was truly extraordinary, filled with notable firsts and groundbreaking achievements that showcased the best of filmmaking”, he said while delivering a video message at the closing ceremony of IFFI.
Shri Thakur noted that the 54th IFFI showcased around 250 films, totaling close to 30,000 minutes of viewing, representing 68 international and 17 Indian languages from 78 countries. “The festival featured 23 Masterclasses and in-conversation sessions, some accessible both physically and virtually. Close to 50 Gala Red carpets organised during the festival provided a boost to the whole celebration,” he said. The Minister also acknowledged the support of the esteemed jury members whose valuable time and dedicated efforts played a pivotal role in shaping this edition of the festival.
Highlighting the efforts towards inclusivity and accessibility made by IFFI, the Minister said that films were specially curated for differently abled film-lovers so that they could enjoy the beauty of cinema at big screens with the help of sign language and audio descriptions. “We made sure to include more than 40 movies directed by women, celebrating their talent”, he added.
In Photo: Union Minister for Information & Broadcasting, Sports & Youth Affairs Shri Anurag Singh Thakur a video message at IFFI closing ceremony
Congratulating the efforts of National Film Heritage Mission to restore old classics, the Minister said that over 5,000 films and documentaries of multiple languages in the 4K digital format will be restored ensuring that the future generations of Bharat can appreciate, enjoy and be inspired by these great works. “A specially curated section of seven films restored under the National Film Heritage Mission were screened at the 54th IFFI to great appreciation of film-lovers”, Shri Thakur remarked.
The Minister also emphasized the dual mission of preserving the old and promoting the new. “The ‘Film Challenge’ under ’75 Creative Minds of Tomorrow’ showcased young talents. The films presented by the young creative minds were thought provoking and dealt with a very important topic of protecting and preserving the environment. Notably, 45 of the 75 Creative Minds have already been offered opportunities to present their ideas to leading companies in the sector. The NFDC Film Bazaar expanded its horizons, welcoming a diverse international audience and fostering cross-cultural collaborations. The introduction of the ‘VFX & Tech Pavilion’ and a documentary section showcased innovation and non-fiction storytelling,” he said.
Union Minister Thakur extended his congratulations to Mr. Michael Douglas for receiving the Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement Award for 2023 and thanked Ms. Catherine Zeta Jones for accompanying him to make the moment special for all at IFFI. He also congratulated the winners of the Golden Peacock Awards and the first ever award for Best Web series (OTT) at IFFI.
In closing, the Minister expressed gratitude to the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) team, and the State Government of Goa, led by Chief Minister Dr. Pramod Sawant, for their dedicated efforts in making the festival a success. The Minister concluded by congratulating all filmmakers, actors, and creators, urging them to carry forward the storytelling spirit, unity, and creativity beyond IFFI.