November 20, 2022, is definitely a memorable day for all cinema and football enthusiasts with the opening of the 53rd International Film Festival of Goa (IFFI) and the opening of FIFA World Cup on the same day. But, as for Goa, all eyes were on IFFI as the event was in 'Amchem Goem'.
The event began with all the pomp and grandeur that we usually see on the big screen, but the only difference was, it was right in front of our eyes in our very own Goa and not far away in Qatar.
The Red Carpet
The opening ceremony was nothing less than a hit movie, with stars like Manoj Bajpayee, Ajay Devgn, Suniel Shetty, Varun Dhawan, Sara Ali Khan and Kartik Aaryan making glamourous entries that had their fans asking for more.
Besides these well-known Bollywood personalities, Marathi actress' Amruta Khanvilkar and Mrunal Thakur also made heads turn. French ambassador Emmanuel Lenain also made an appearance and struck his best smile for the cameras.
And it begins
Inside the auditorium, although the well-lit stage was meant to be the highlight of the event, the films, their creators and the unity of diversity are what stole the show. The anchor for the evening, Aparshakti Khurana, was at his best.
The evening began with the singing of the national anthem and went on to see a stellar performance by actress Mrunal Thakur.
Permanent IFFI-hosting venue in 2025: CM
Later, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said the long-pending Goan dream of creating a permanent venue to celebrate the International Film Festival of India will hopefully come true in 2025.
Sawant said the creation of the venue has become a reality as the setting of the project, which includes a world-class convention centre with multiplex and other related infrastructure in an area of 25 acres, is at the final stage of being awarded on a PPP basis.
The Chief Minister was speaking at the glittering and star-studded inaugural ceremony of the 53rd IFFI at the Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee stadium at Taleigao.
CM urges producers, investors to set up infra
Sawant also urged film producers and investors to come forth and invest in Goa to scale up film-related infrastructure in the State for which, he assured, the government would provide the necessary assistance. "Very soon, the State govt will come up with a plan for the same," he added.
At the beginning of his speech, he paid tributes to late CM Manohar Parrikar and attributed him to IFFI becoming a permanent event in Goa.
This year, he said, the State government has taken the initiative to exclusively curate special masterclasses for the Goan film fraternity.
"Renowned film personalities from the Marathi and Hindi film fraternities will be addressing masterclasses. A special Goan section has also been curated this year. A jury panel comprising three members from Indian Panorama and who formed the jury for Goan section has selected 6 short films and one documentary film," he informed.
'Goa, an ideal place for film shootings after Mumbai'
He said Goa with its natural beauty was the ideal place for shootings after Mumbai and extended all possible help to line producers to conduct shootings in Goa.
He said the filmy culture was strengthening its roots in the State and some of the Goan youngsters have started making their presence felt in the industry, both in films and OTT platforms.
"With a pool of talented writers, actors and technicians, Goa is the most ideal destination for film shootings as well as post-production," he added.
Sawant assured that the government will promote and create an ecosystem conducive to the film industry. "Our aim is to create a hub having world-class production facilities. We also aim to start a state-of-the-art film training school for Goan youth to acquire skills and become eligible for employment," he added.