The Intl. Film Festival of India takes place annually at Bollywood’s doorstep. But that doesn’t mean the song-and-dance cinema of Mumbai is welcome this year at the sprocket opera in Goa.
The Entertainment Society of Goa, one of two agencies that organize the festival, has put out word that too many Bollywood film premieres and stars detract from the serious films IFFI is to unspool.
“We have made DFF (Directorate of Film Festivals) officials realize that IFFI is becoming too Bollywood centric,” said Entertainment Society of Goa chairman Vishnu Wagh. “Too many Bollywood premieres were being hosted and the stars arriving would put everything out of gear. What will be different about the festival this year is that there will not be a single Bollywood film premiere at IFFI.”
The fest, which runs Nov. 20-30, has received more than 400 entries for the fiction and non-fiction sections of Indian Panorama from which 25 films will be chosen, Wagh told the Times of India.
“Until last year, we would receive between 150 to 200 entries. Delegates can expect the best of Indian regional cinema. The selection is turning out to be very grueling,” he said.
However, that doesn’t mean all popular Indian stars are banned. The organizers are trying to get Tamil superstar Rajnikanth as the guest to open the festival. Last year Bollywood star Akshay Kumar opened the festival, which kicked off with “Life of Pi” and closed with “The Reluctant Fundamentalist.”