Report by Santanu Ganguly, New Delhi: In a first of its kind event, the 43rd International Film Festival of India, IFFI 2012, will open on November 20, with the world premiere of Academy Award Winning Director Ang Lee’s much awaited film ‘Life of Pi’. The film’s worldwide theatrical release is slated for November 23.
‘Life of Pi’ which is based on an adapted screenplay of a novel by the same name by Yann Martel, is a 3D adventure film telling the story of a 16 year old Piscine Molitor Patel (Pi) of Pondicherry (Puducheri), who survives a shipwreck along with animals like an orangutan, a zebra, a hyena and a Royal Bengal Tiger. The film explores the issues of spirituality, religion and life as a whole.
Shankar Mohan, Festival Director, IFFI 2012 made the announcement of the opening film in Mumbai in the presence of the Taiwanese born American Director Ang Lee and the cast and crew of the film, that includes Tabu, Irrfan Khan and the main lead and debutante Suraj Sharma.
Shankar Mohan said “it is a great joy to open the festival with a much awaited movie of a world renowned Director and its India centric theme adds great significance, when we are commemorating the ‘hundred years of Indian Cinema’.” He announced that the cast and crew of ‘Life of Pi’ would be in Goa to present the film, before the delegates coming from across the world.
Ang Lee is the man behind some of the most prestigious and acclaimed films such as Sense and Sensibility (1995), Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000), Hulk (2003) and Brokeback Mountain (2005). His latest film, Life of Pi, besides providing a global platform for Indian artistes, also explores some of the scenic spots in India, including the countryside of Munnar and the French elegance of Pondicherry. During his interaction with the media, Ang Lee admitted that experiments like his, are helping change the stereotype perceptions about Indians and the Asians in mainstream Hollywood.
The 43rd IFFI 2012 will be held in Goa from November 20 – 30, 2012, providing an opportunity for film lovers to watch, appreciate and learn from a cross section of film entries in the Indian Panorama, World Cinema, Retrospectives, Documentaries, Master Classes etc.
As part of 100 Years of Indian Cinema, a special Centenary Award will be given away during IFFI 2012, which will be decided by an independent jury. Eminent Polish film maker Krzysztof Zanussi, will be conferred the Life Time Achievement Award.