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Minister Anurag Thakur in an exclusive chat at IFFI

Goa: The 53rd International Film Festival of India (IFFI) has finally commenced in Goa with a variety of films being a part of it. Starting from a small initiative, the festival this year has left its traces globally as hundreds of films and series from around the world have come in for their premiere. With more than 10,000 films coming in from everywhere, the IFFI has widened its spectrum through the sheer appreciation that Indian films and festivals are receiving.

In an exclusive chat with First India, Minister of Information & Broadcast, Sports and Youth Affairs, Anurag Thakur spoke about IFFI’s widened spectrum this year, films and more. He revealed that more than 80 countries have got the chance to showcase their films this year. Not only international and national films but OTT series will also have their grand world premiere at IFFI. He also mentioned that the percentage of women filmmakers that will be presented at the festival has increased to 40%. “It shows that India has formed this platform of IFFI where the world wants to showcase their work. India will get a chance to show its films to the world. We have taken this platform from a regional level, not to a national but an international one. Secondly, technology plays an important role in life now. Hence, we have made sure to make technology a part of the festival. You just have to watch for next year, everything will be twice as bigger.”

Talking about how regional and young talents have been included this year, Mr Thakur stated, “Since last year we tried the 75 creative minds of tomorrow. 1,000 applications came in and only 75 were selected. The youngest among the makers was an 18-year-old. Usually, they wouldn’t have easily gotten a chance to meet a well-renowned filmmaker, producer or any film fraternity that would have guided them. Today, they will not only meet them but also learn from them and work towards making a name for themselves.”

Sharing a glimpse of the use of technology this year in IFFI, Mr Thakur mentioned that IFFI has attempted to break the language barriers when it comes to the diverse film-watching experience. Every viewer will be given headphones to watch the film and an option of language to choose from. The subtitles will be adjusted according to the language they choose.

Addressing the submission of the Gujarati film The Chhello Show and Telugu superhit, RRR for the Oscars, Mr Thakur said, “We are the biggest producers of films. So, there is no doubt that Indian films will win big award shows. But winning awards is different as it helps to garner recognition. But winning people’s hearts at the box office is a different win.”

Mr Thakur further talked about the South vs Bollywood debate and stated that in today’s time, the lines between regional, national and further such categories for films have blurred. “Technology has blurred the lines between regional and international. So, now whatever film that will be made today can be viewed from the international lens.”

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