Waheeda Rehman, Kamal Haasan, Susan Sarandon inaugurate IFFI 2013
The 10-day-long International Film Festival of India (IFFI) today opened with legendary Waheeda Rehman getting the inaugural centenary film award and Hollywood star Susan Sarandon adding the extra glamour as the guest of honour.
The festival also feted Oscar-winning Czech filmmaker Jiri Menzel with its prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award, which was given to Menzel by Union Information and Broadcasting minister Manish Tewari.
Tewari said cinema has celebrated "the indestructibility and immortality of the human spirit" even during great historical tragedies.
"As we soak ourselves in the extravaganza that has been laid out, I urge you to kindly reflect on the contribution that people of the arts and literature need to make to ensure that the values that underpin this effort are preserved and protected so that we can build a world free of fear of monologues and monotheistic manifestations," Tewari said.
Bollywood diva Rekha, singer Asha Bhosle, Tamil superstar Kamal Hassan, actress Rani Mukerjee, 'Sholay' helmer Ramesh Sippy, newcomers Huma Qureshi and Alia Bhatt were present to lend star power to the ceremony.
The two-hour-long cultural extravaganza started with a retrospective on 100 years of cinema through a special choreography by Kathak exponent Birju Maharaj.
His dance troupe commenced the performance with music from the golden era of cinema like 'Mohe Panghat Pe', 'Thare Rahiyo' followed by songs of modern era 'Dil Toh Pagal Hai' and 'Dhai Sham Rok Lai'. Later, Maharaj also presented a magnificent jugalbandi with Sitar maestro Ustad Nishat Khan.
IFFI also witnessed artistes from Iran and America sharing the same stage together with filmmaker Majid Majidi and Sarandon gracing the occasion together.
Sarandon said she is looking forward to watch some Indian films during the festival.
"I am so happy to come here. This is my second visit. I am looking forward to be a part of the festival. I am ashamed that being an American I only watched Hollywood films. India has produced so many good and rich films and I am looking forward to watch them here in the festival," Sarandon said.