Film festival-hopping is nothing new for cinephiles. From planning your dates beforehand and brooding over film synopsis to making that painful decision of which ones to miss – there’s a lot of activity and buzz! This is thrilling season of watching some of the year’s greatest cinema and meeting folks of common interests. Wait, there’s also the pleasure of celeb-spotting to ones who fancy the same.
All set, I landed up at Panjim, Goa – the venue for 47th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) and the city took me by surprise! Why? Unlike festivals in three other Indian cities I had attended before, IFFI Goa exuded a beautiful vibe – that of cinema. Panjim’s inviting mood defined the festival and its cultural significance to natives. For whole 9 days, every corner of the city seemed to be celebrating cinema and its grandeur.
So… Panjim isn’t new to me. The familiar roads and lanes, however, had transformed. Right from the airport in Dabolim, I saw publicity material spread all across. Once I reached the city, fairy lights, vibrant festival décor and very much clued localites welcomed me over. The last time I had attended a regarded film festival, hardly any commoner knew about its very existence. The excitement ended right there at the venue. Big city pangs, I tell you.
Yesterday, curtains fell for 47th IFFI, Goa in a star-studded event. Here are the highlights!
A closing film par excellence…
One with a commendable legacy of art and cinema, films from this year’s country of focus – South Korea – continue to find great patronage in India and world over. What’s better than director Kim Jee-woon’s action thriller The Age of Shadows to close the festival?
South Korea’s official entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 89th Academy Awards, the film marks Jee-woon’s return after a 3-year long hiatus. Set in 1920, The Age of Shadows traverses the tumultuous life of Korean-born Japanese police officer who is entitled with a mission to infiltrate armed resistance fighters. A thrilling action-packed ride, The Age of Shadows was the ideal closing film for the festival.
The last act…
Presided by the Minister Of State for Information & Broadcasting, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, the closing ceremony made sure to live up to the festival’s grandeur. Hosted by the lovely Shriya Saran and Gaurav Kapur, the event saw a scintillating performance by music composer duo Sachin-Jigar. Based on unity in diversity, their act featured singers from Assam, Goa, Jammu and Kashmir among others. The closing act found a perfect closure with the enigmatic Benny Dayal making a thunderous impact. Crooning popular numbers like Badtameez Dil (Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani) and Let’s Nacho (Kapoor and Sons), the singer set the stage on fire! Icing on the cake was popular Goan singer Sonia Shirsat performing the iconic ‘Maria Pitache’ – one Goan number that the nation loves to hum along!
Now with the 47th International Film Festival of India comes to an end, I wonder how Panjim will look minus all glitz. Probably it’s prepping itself for the next season already. We are waiting…
Photo Credits: Camcatches, IFFI Social Media