Anurakthi, world’s first Sanskrit film in 3D, is grabbing all the eyeballs in the Film Bazaar at International Film Festival of India (IFFI) 2017. The movie has been directed by Asokan PK and produced under the Happy Tunes Media banner. The story revolves around ‘Vasudha’, the protagonist who is a Punjabi dancer and comes to Kerala to learn Koodiyattam, a niche form of dance drama, from Paramesharwan Chakkiar. The story then goes on to show Paramesharwan Chakkiar’s son’s love for the Punjabi dancer and how at one point, he mistakes the close relationship she has with his father, who is her Guru teaching her the dance. The duration of the film is 80 minutes. Notably, Koodiyattam is a 2000-year-old dance form. It has been learnt that 10 teachers have worked together to help create this film as it is subject-centric and focused on telling the story that dates back to a special two-thousand-year-old art form. For filmmakers, the challenge was to place it in a contemporary setting and render it in the Sanskrit language. ”This is a movie that is not commercial in nature or purpose. The intent is to bring to life a creation of art,” Director Asokan said.
IFFI had begun in Panaji on November 20 amid much fanfare and in the presence of Bollywood’s best such as Shah Rukh Khan. The opening ceremony, held at Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Indoor Stadium, turned out to be a star-studded affair with SRK, Shahid Kapoor, Sridevi, AR Rahman, Anupam Kher, Nitesh Tiwari, Prasoon Joshi, Rajkummar Rao and Radhika Apte in attendance. “It is our endeavour on behalf of the government of India and the government of Goa that we invite filmmakers from across the world to this land of stories,” Union minister for Information and Broadcasting Smriti Irani said in her address.
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The ceremony opened with an energetic dance performance towards the end of which Shah Rukh made an entry on stage and struck his signature open arm pose. In his opening remarks, the 52-year-old actor said stories and films brought people together. “There is a word in Sanskrit — Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam. It means bringing the world together like a family. I believe no matter what your language, no matter what country your story comes from and no matter what ideologies, storytelling and listening should be a familiar experience,” he said.
Salman Khan will bring down the curtains on the 48th edition of the festival on November 28. He will be accompanied by his “Tubelight” co-star, child artiste Matin Rey Tangu. Talking about the festival, the Tiger Zinda Hai superstar said, “The Festival has a fantastic line-up this year and I look forward to attending the closing ceremony and meeting some of the best names in cinema from across the world.”