New Delhi: The Open Forum has been a regular edition at the International Film Festival of India for the past 31 years. The 2019 edition of the Open Forum organised by the Federation of the Film Societies of India opened with the pertinent topic: Focus on IFFI @50: Flash Back and Moving Forward.
The session was inaugurated by Chaitanya Prasad, Festival Director, ADG, Directorate of Film Festival (DFF), Kiran Shantaram, President, Federation of Film Societies of India, AK Bir, Filmmaker and Chairman of Technical Committee, IFFI 2019, Alexey Govorukhin, Executive Producer, Kinoreporter Magazine, Russia and Marianne Borgo, actress from France.
In his opening remarks Prakash Reddy, Convener of the Open Forum, spoke about the history of the Federation over the years. The society was started in 1959 by India’s great Satyajit Ray and includes more than 350 film societies. He said that Open Forum was started as an ‘experiment’ in 1988 and it has been a regular event since then.
“It is a common ground for filmmakers to interact with fellow film makers, researchers and encourages writers to release their books,” he said.
Shantaram in his opening remarks expressed that the Open Forum is a platform to create new audience. He also requested the DFF to extend the number of days of the Open Forum to seven instead of three.
Festival Director, Chaitanya Prasad appreciated the work done by the Open Forum and called it one of the ‘key value additions of the 50th edition.’ “It floats new ideas, new concepts for cinema to move ahead. It’s a forum that has a tradition and legacy for itself. It is one of the leading lights as far as IFFI is concerned.” he added.
Alexey thanked the Government of India and the DFF for the opportunity to showcase films from Russia. Highlighting the co-production in place between Russia and India. “The Government will offer 40 percent rebate for films shot there,” he mentioned.
Adding further information about the Russian industry he stated that there are 15 Film Commissions that can assist in finding partners, help foreign film makers to make films in Russia. The country makes 150 big screen movies a year.
On the special effects used in Abigail, one of the movies in the Russian Focus this year, he said the country was well-equipped to produce CGI films and has all the facilities for film making. They are also trying to involve foreign talents in Russian movies to spread Russian movies across the world. “We welcome Indian talents to participate in Russian movies as well,” he said.
Marianne Borgo, who has been a regular at IFFI for the past 10 years has observed its growth for the good. “I’m thankful to India and we love Indian movies and we can build more bridges between India, France and Russia.” He said on a concluding note.