The 51st edition of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI), which was launched on January 16, has seen participation by several young debutant filmmakers this year, say jury members.
Speaking about the influx of young talent, Haobam Paban Kumar, chairperson, non-feature film, said in a press release: “More than 60-70 people are new filmmakers which is a good sign. Even the opening film, Saand Ki Aankh, is also made by a young filmmaker.”
A total of 23 feature and 20 non-feature films have been selected for the flagship Indian Panorama Section of the 51st of International Film Festival of India. Among them, Saand Ki Aankh was selected as the opening film in the Panorama section.
Speaking on the occasion, the film’s director Tushar Hiranandani said that there were many hidden stories that need to be told. The real-life characters of the film, Chandro and Prakashi, were unknown in their town Meerut, he said, adding: “When I made this movie, I hoped that they will be noticed.”
Talking about Saand Ki Aankh being chosen as the opening film, the jury members said that they appreciated the music, cinematography, editing, and script. The film is based on Chandro Tomar and Prakashi Tomar of Johri village in Uttar Pradesh and are among the world’s oldest sharpshooters and winners of several national championships.
Sanghamitra Chaudhuri, a filmmaker, journalist and one of the jury members, lauded the efforts of debutant film directors participating in the festival and coming up with contemporary ideas.
The jury, however, pointed out the fewer number of documentary films as compared to last year. Speaking about the importance of documentaries, the chairperson said: “Only thing lacking this time was there were very few documentaries and more short films.”
Six iconic Marathi films will be screened under the Indian Panorama section and 15 films will compete for the Golden Peacock Award at IFFI’s International Competition section. The festival started on January 16 and will continue till Sunday.