PeepingMoon Exclusive: 'IFFI 2021 is an expression of creativity and artistic excellence,' says ADG DFF Chaitanya K Prasad


The much-awaited 52nd edition of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) commenced with an opening ceremony at the Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Indoor Stadium, in Panaji, Goa, on November 20, 2021. It was a star-studded affair as Governor of Goa P S Sreedharan Pillai; Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Anurag Singh Thakur; Chief Minister of Goa, Dr. Pramod Sawant; and Union Minister of State, Information and Broadcasting, L. Murugan were in attendance. Bollywood celebrities like Salman Khan, Ranveer Singh, Ritesh Deshmukh, Genelia Deshmukh and Shraddha Kapoor lit the stage with their performances. 

As IFFI continues to attract visitors with an exciting lineup of films made by experienced as well as aspiring filmmakers, PeepingMoon got in touch with Chaitanya K Prasad, the Additional Director General of the Directorate of Film Festivals. Talking about the 52nd edition of IFFI, Mr Prasad highlighted how the festival is a celebration of creative expression. In the exclusive interview, he opened up about how it has grown and become vibrant over the years. 


"It's been 17 years of IFFI and it has grown and become vibrant over the years. The Indian International Film Festival has several elements like the Indian Panorama, World Kaleidoscope etc. This year, we are celebrating 75 years of India’s Independence under Azaadi ka Amrit Mahotsav. The segment ‘75 Young Creative Minds’ has initiated a new process. Young and creative minds were asked to compete across the country. We had more than 400 entries that were addressed by 2 levels of the jury headed by Prasoon Joshi and also had Indian filmmaker Ketan Mehta as a part of it. This year, we have directed the creative minds of tomorrow with the mainstream masters of today. We have had the OTT players coming in for the first time. The perfect jugalbandi between the silver screen and OTT has taken place. The Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement Awards were given to Hungarian film director Istvan Szabo and American film director, producer, screenwriter and actor Martin Scorsese. Hema Malini was honoured with the Indian Film Personality of the Year Award 2021. It is an expression of creativity and a journey of artistic excellence," Mr Prasad told. 

Shedding light on the process of selecting films for screening, Mr Prasad said, "The IFFI jury comprising renowned Iranian filmmaker Rakhshan Banietemad took over this duty. The other jury members are Sri Lankan filmmaker Vimukthi Jayasundara, British film producer Stephen Woolley, Indian producer-director Nila Madhab Panda and Colombian filmmaker Ciro Guerra. They choose which film needs to be screened at the international film festival."

He added, "The jury members are trying to showcase the best talent in the best possible manner. Aspiring filmmakers are getting masterclasses, opportunities to interact with veterans of the industry. They are getting the feel of an international film festival."  

Saand Ki Aankh and Chhichhore were screened at the 51st edition of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI). This year, films like Chhorii and Dhamaka have made the cut. Mr Prasad shared, Films are selected through a process and a proper procedure. Dhamaka was a part of the OTT network and the rest go through a different process."

IFFI will end on November 28.