Rajinikanth towers over Goa ahead of IFFI
Panaji: Giant cut outs of megastar Rajinikanth in his superhero costume line the road alongside picturesque Mandovi river as Goa prepares to host annual International Film Festival of India on November 20.
Rajinikanth, 63, will arrive in his chartered plane to attend the IIFI's inaugural function on Thursday, said Director of Film Festival Shankar Mohan, who along with the Entertainment Society of Goa (ESG) officials is busy giving final touches to the 45th edition of the event.
Rajinikanth, successful in both Hindi and southern film industry, will be presented the Special Centenary Award for his contribution to cinema during the festival. Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan will be the special guest for the inauguration ceremony that would be held at Dr Shama Prasad Mukherjee Stadium near Panaji. Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley will be the chief guest for the function where Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and Union MoS for I&B Rajyavardhan Rathore will also be present.
The inauguration will be compered by veteran actor Anupam Kher and noted actress Raveena Tondon. "Over the years, IFFI has emerged as a major event on the calendar of international cinema. Undoubtedly, this festival has proven to be a significant platform for the Indian cinema enabling it to emerge as a distinct genre in world cinema," Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a message to the festival organisers, as per the IFFI souvenir. "By showcasing films in different languages and from diverse cultures, IFFI contributes to the important task of breaking down boundaries between nations and cultures," the message by PM said.
Mohan said this time, the festival organisers have re-started the practice of public screening of movies which was discontinued some years back. Veteran filmmaker late Richard Attenborough's 'Gandhi' will mark the inauguration of the public screening of films at D B Bandodkar stadium, near Kala Academy. "The public screening is open for everyone. Anyone can watch the movies. One popular movie would be screened every day so that we involve the common man into the festival," the director said. The delegates, who had to brave the humid climate here while queueing up for the tickets, will now have some respite as the organisers have put up air-conditioned tents near the theatres for their convenience.