The 3rd Guwahati International Film Festival (GIFF) began here on Thursday with a platter of 100 movies from 65 countries that is likely to attract over 5,000 domestic and foreign delegates during the next one week.
The inaugural ceremony was attended by Polish film director Krzysztof Zanussi and National Award winning filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar.
Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal inaugurated the seven-day-long extravaganza saying that the festival is aimed to integrate the world as a family.
"Assam has a rich cultural heritage and is full of natural beauty. The state is also full of talents," he said while welcoming a host of dignitaries here.
In presence of the National Award winning actor Adil Hussain, Sonowal said the Assamese actor has conquered the world with his acting prowess.
Sonowal invited filmmakers to shoot their films in Assam and assured all support from the state government.
Zanussi highlighted the heights that cinema has achieved over the years.
"I have seen that cinema over the years has achieved something surprising. In many of it's manifestations, it has reached a level of art which is not only popular, but also belongs to higher shelf," he added.
Dwelling on the role of film festivals in promoting quality cinema, Zanussi said, "Film festivals promote high art rather than regular cinema. Festivals bring to local people global cinema which otherwise is not available to them."
During the festival, nearly 70 personalities from India and abroad will take part with their films, while envoys from South Korea, Hungary, Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, Bolivia, Argentina and Bangladesh will be present.
Festival Director Monita Borgohain said due to heavy rush of delegates, offline registration had to be stopped from October 26, while online was shut down from Wednesday evening.
"We have already seen over 5,000 registration. Spot registration at the venue will continue till the last day and usually we get another 2,000 names during that. So, we expect a total of around 7,000 registration this year," she added.
The Assam Government-owned Jyoti Chitraban (Film Studio) Society is the organiser of the festival, which will be held from October 31 to November 6, in association with Dr Bhupen Hazarika Regional Government Film and Television Institute.
The 3rd GIFF will begin with screening of Iranian film 'Charcoal' (Komur) by Esmaeel Monsef, while 'To The Desert' (Al Desierto) by Argentinian director Ulises Rosell will be the closing film.
This year, Iran is the country of focus with five films, while the focus region is Latin American and Caribbean countries with seven films in the GIFF 2019.
Apart from these countries, films from Sri Lanka, Hungary, South Korea, Spain, Israel, the USA, Taiwan, Italy, Iceland, China, Canada, Philippines, Bangladesh, France, Portugal, Bhutan, Bolivia, Poland, Russia, Japan, Nepal, Germany, Belgium, Turkey, Kyrgyzstan, Indonesia, Vietnam, Qatar, Slovenia, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Syria, Denmark and Tunisia will also be screened.
The festival has been divided into eight categories with the tribute section being dedicated to eminent film personalities Mrinal Sen and Girish Karnad, who passed away during the year.
The other categories include World Cinema, Indian Showcase, Competition Section, North-East Kaleidoscope, Retrospective Section, 150 years of Celebrating the Mahatma and Indian Panorama.
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