The festival is being organised in a "hybrid mode", where delegates can participate and watch films and events virtually.
Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar on Saturday urged the film industry and other sectors to collaborate with the government in organising the International Film Festival of India (IFFI).
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the annual film extravaganza, Javadekar said there is a requirement of active participation from non-government sectors in such events.
“Every year, IFFI is organised by the central government and Goa government. Why? There should be participation from the film industry and other industries as well.
“Just because it’s the government’s responsibility to ensure thriving atmosphere and promotion of arts and culture, doesn’t mean the government should do everything” Javadekar said in his address.
He also extended an invitation to private players, hoping for their participation in the future editions of the festival.
The 51st edition of IFFI kickstarted here today after it was postponed in November 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. It will run till January 24.
The ceremony was held at Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Indoor Stadium here.
The festival is being organised in a “hybrid mode”, where delegates can participate and watch films and events virtually.
Javadekar said the hybrid edition, which will also have physical screenings, is a testimony to the festival’s ability to adapt to changing times.
“Films will be screened across seven theatres, but the online access will be there for all the delegates. Newspaper circulation was affected due to COVID, but their digital engagement grew massively.
“So these are changing times of evolving technology which we are benefiting from,” he added.
Javadekar also announced that the Indian Personality of the Year Award will be conferred to veteran actor- filmmaker Biswajit Chatterjee.
The honour aims to celebrate film personalities for their exemplary contribution to cinema.
The 84-year-old actor, known for featuring in films like “Bees Saal Baad”, “Night In London” and “April Fool”, would be presented the award at the National Film Awards in March 2021.
Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, who was also present at the ceremony, said though the festival is taking place amid the pandemic, the organisers are strictly following the state guidelines to ensure safety of the guests.
“We assure you that your health, hygiene and well being has been of utmost importance. We are following all the health protocols for the film festival,” he added.
The annual film festival, held in Goa, is conducted jointly by the Directorate of Film Festivals (under Ministry of Information and Broadcasting) and Goa government.
The festival screens films from across the world and holds masterclasses, in-conversation sessions with acclaimed talents from national and international cinema.
Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg’s “Another Round” is the opening film at the festival. The movie is Denmark’s official entry to the Oscars and stars Cannes Best Actor Award winner Mads Mikkelsen.
A total of 224 films will be screened under different sections at the 51st edition, 15 of which will will compete for the Golden Peacock award.
The festival will also give homage to actors Irrfan Khan, Sushant Singh Rajput, Rishi Kapoor and Hollywood star Chadwick Boseman among 28 other artistes from the world cinema by showcasing their films.
“Saand Ki Aankh”, directed by Tushar Hiranandani and featuring Taapsee Pannu and Bhumi Pednekar, will be the opening movie for the Panorama section at the festival.