Pune, January 11: The wait is finally over for all the film aficionados of the city. The 4th Pune International Film Festival (PIFF) 2006 is all set to start on Thursday at 6.30 pm, at the Ganesh Kala Krida Rangmanch when Priyaranjan Dasmunshi, minister for Information, Broadcasting and Parliamentary Affairs lights the lamp. The opening ceremony will be marked by a performance by actress Isha Koppikar and Yana Gupta will perform the closing dance. In addition, a catalogue of the films to be screened during the festival will be released.
This is also the first year when international film-makers like Victor J Kemper will be honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award during the festival. ‘‘We want to be a part of world cinema. Along with the Indian film-makers, we also want to give due recognition to the International films and this is just one of the initiatives,’’ said Jabbar Patel, PIFFchairman. Recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society of Cinematographers in 1998, Kemper has to his credit 59 films including the much acclaimed Husbands, The Candidate, The Gambler and The Four Seasons. Film-maker Yash Chopra and actress Vaijayantimala will also be bestowed with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Incidentally the festival will also witness for the first time the screening of films at the restructured Ganesh Kala Krida Rangmanch, which has recently been installed with new Dolby sound system and a projector. ‘‘With a capacity of 3,000 seats, this is surely one of the biggest halls equipped with a screen in India,’’ said Patel. Several films of the Festival, including the opening film Japanese Story will be screened in the hall.
The eight-day festival that will showcase more than 100 films from 35 countries and has already received 1200 delegate registrations. ‘‘This is one of best response that we have received during the four years of the Festival, and it’s overwhelming,’’ said Sabina Sanghvi, vice-chairperson of the festival.
Patel informed that next year the Festival would be registered as a part of International Federation of Film Producers Association (FIAPF) ‘‘We are already big, but with this we hope to be in league with the biggest festivals across the world,’’ said Patel.
The film fraternity will be represented by Subhash Ghai and the starcast of the film Zinda, which includes Sanjay Dutt, John Abraham, Celina Jaitley, Malaika Arora and Arbaaz Khan. Also Amol Palekar, and Saksham Kulkarni, who was recently bestowed with the Best Actor in the 1st festival of Asian Films, will be felicitated during the inaugural function.
Finance minister Jayant Patil, Mayor Rajani Tribhuvan, , Madhur Bajaj, president, Bajaj Auto Ltd, Ashok Kolaskar, vice-chancellor, University of Pune, Balaji Rao, managing director, Venky’s Rock and actor Nana Patekar will be present.