" --IANS"
By Mayabhushan Nagvenkar

Panaji, Nov 18 - Even as the controversy surrounding the dropping of two films Nude and S. Durga from the screening schedule of the 48th IFFI continues, India's largest film event gets underway on Monday, with over 195 films from 82 countries scheduled for screening over 10 days.

The festival which kicks off on November 20 in Panaji, will screen 10 world premieres, 10 Asian and international premieres and over 64 Indian premieres as part of the official programme and will open with noted Iranian filmmaker Majid Majidi's movie Beyond the Clouds, organisers said.

Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan will inaugurate the festival on November 20, while well-known actress Sridevi will inaugurate the Indian Panorama section. India's top actor through decades Amitabh Bachchan will be awarded with the Indian Film Personality of the Year award, while the Lifetime Achievement award will be presented to celebrated Canadian director Atom Egoyan.

The focus country in this edition of the festival is Canada and curated cinema from the North American country will be screened in the presence of leading Canadian actors and film personalities.

This edition of the Festival, will also be presenting films from a record number of women filmmakers in addition to a carefully curated section of restored classics from across the globe, which includes the recently completed restorations of Fritz Lang's Metropolis and Tarkovsky's Sacrifice among some other notable films.

The International Competition section of IFFI 2017, which carries a cumulative cash prize of over Rs 1 Crore will showcase 15 of the finest films of this year, competing for the Golden and Silver Peacock awards, organisers said, adding that the International Competition jury will be headed by renowned filmmaker Muzaffar Ali, along with Maxine Williamson from Australia, Actor-Director Tzahi Grad from Isreal, Russian Cinematographer Vladislav Opelyants, Director and Production Designer Roger Christian from the United Kingdom.

The IFFI this year will also pay its homage to cinematic master spy James Bond, in a special section where nine films featuring the various leading actors who have essayed the iconic character, will be screened.

Filmmakers including Atom Egoyam, Shekhar Kapur, Nitesh Tiwari and Farah Khan, as well as Oscar winning sound designer Craig Mann, will be conducting master classes and panel discussions during the event.



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