The 54th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) kickstarted with a wave of exciting announcements, demonstrating India’s commitment to the world of cinema. Union Minister for Information & Broadcasting and Youth Affairs & Sports, Anurag Singh Thakur, unveiled plans to boost foreign film production incentives, recognizing talent, and embracing inclusivity.
Thakur declared a remarkable increase in incentives for foreign film production, raising it to 40% of incurred expenses, with a cap limit soaring from Rs.2.5 crore to Rs.30 crore. Emphasizing the need for higher incentives, he highlighted India’s vast potential as a preferred destination for international projects.
In a heartfelt tribute, the festival honored the legendary Madhuri Dixit with the ‘Special Recognition for Contribution to Bharatiya Cinema’ Award. Thakur acknowledged Dixit’s unparalleled talent that has graced screens for four decades.
The Minister also announced a recruitment drive for the ’75 Creative Minds of Tomorrow,’ showcasing India’s commitment to nurturing young talent. This initiative, born from the Prime Minister’s vision, provides a platform for creative expression through cinema. Additionally, a new category for ‘Best Web Series (OTT)’ was introduced, acknowledging the transformative role of original content creators.
Highlighting inclusivity, Thakur revealed that IFFI would feature films from 40 remarkable women filmmakers, celebrating diverse voices and narratives. The festival aims to uphold ‘Entertainment for all’ with accessible venues for differently-abled attendees, offering special screenings with embedded audio descriptions and sign language provisions.
The Minister also touched upon recent legislative strides, including the Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill, 2023, broadening the legal framework and intensifying measures against piracy.
Commending Hollywood Actor/Producer Michael Douglas with the Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement Award for 2023, Thakur expressed gratitude to the esteemed juries across various categories.
Concluding, the Minister shared his vision for IFFI, extending beyond the event, envisioning what the festival should be when India celebrates its 100th year of Independence during the transition from Amrit Mahotsav to Amrit Kaal. The 54th IFFI promises to be a celebration of cinema, talent, and inclusivity, leaving an indelible mark on the world of film.