Curtains go up on International Film Festival of India
PANAJI (Reuters) - Fans of serious cinema gathered at this coastal resort town as curtains go up on India's most prestigious film festival with a screening of Chinese historical drama 'Wheat'.
Often referred to as the "India's Cannes" for its mix of world and Indian cinema, the 40th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) will offer nearly 300 films over ten days.
"We want to maintain a healthy balance between glamour and serious cinema. Glamour cannot be overencompassing, it has to be one element of the festival. We hope to achieve this," festival director S M Khan told Reuters.
Bollywood will take a back seat as film aficionados watch retrospectives of film-makers Gurinder Chada, Nonzee Nimibutr (Thailand) and Roland Reber (Germany).
Veteran film star Waheeda Rehman will open the festival that honours actors Sharmila Tagore and Asha Parekh for 50 years in Indian cinema. It also showcases 75 years of Assamese cinema.
India has looked to build a film festival along the lines of Cannes, turning to Goa to provide a picturesque backdrop to a celebration of cinema.
But the festival has been criticised in the past for ignoring regional language films from across the country.
Bollywood forms a part of the Indian section in the festival, where popular films such as Dev.D and Oye Lucky Lucky Oye, will also be screened.
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