Panaji: In the luminous presence of two stalwarts of Indian cinema Amitabh Bachchan and Rajinikanth, the golden jubilee edition of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) got off to a mesmeric start at Dr Shyamaprasad Mukherjee Indoor Stadium at Taleigao, near the city, on Wednesday. Ending the long wait of cinephiles across the world, 50th International Film Festival of India kickstarted in all its glitz and glamour.
At a grand ceremony hosted by the master of entertainment Karan Johar, the great doyen of Indian cinema Amitabh Bachchan and the 'Thalaiva' of Indian film industry Rajinikanth flagged off the extravaganza and announced the festival open, in the presence of Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Shri Prakash Javadekar and other official dignitaries.
Rajinikanth is being conferred with the 'Icon Of Golden Jubilee Award' for his outstanding contribution to Indian cinema.
Lights and luminaries of film industry such as 'Bend It Like Beckham' star Jonathan Rhys Meyers; world known Cinematographer and Chairman of IFFI International Jury John Bailey; Indian film maker and Chairman of Indian jury Shri Priyadarshan and other jury members of Indian and International jury graced the opening ceremony. A host of celebrities sashayed the red carpet, adding to the pomp and gaiety of the function.
The inaugural ceremony of the festival also had the presence of various senior official dignitaries such as Union Minister of AYUSH Shripad Naik, Union Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Babul Supriyo, Goa Chief Minister Dr Pramod Sawant, Secretary Information and Broadcasting Amit Khare and Festival Director Chaitanya Prasad, Chairman, Prasar Bharati, A Suryaprakash and Vice Chairman ESG, Subhash Phal Desai.
The 50th International Film Festival of India 2019 will witness more than 200 acclaimed films from 76 countries, with Russia as the country of focus. It also includes 26 feature films and 15 non feature films in Indian panorama section. More than 10,000 people and film lovers are expected to participate in the golden jubilee edition. (UNI)