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Hollywood actress Susan Sarandon to be chief guest at opening of 44th IFFI

Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting Manish Tewari addressing a press conference on 44th International Film Festival of India and 18th International Children’s Film Festival of India, in New Delhi on November 7, 2013.
Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting Manish Tewari addressing a press conference on 44th International Film Festival of India and 18th International Children’s Film Festival of India, in New Delhi on November 7, 2013.
Well-known Hollywood actress Susan Sarandon will be the chief guest at the 44th edition of the International Film Festival of India to be held in Goa from November 20-30.
 
Another acclaimed Hollywood actress, Michelle Yeoh, will be the chief guest for the closing ceremony.
 
Briefing newspersons here about the festival here today, Union Information & Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari announced that the Government had decided to institute a special award as part of the initiatives taken by it to commemorate 100 years of Indian cinema.
 
The Centenary Award would be given every year to an outstanding Indian film personality, "a film icon", for his or her ocntribution to Indian cinema at IFFI.
 
Mr Tewari said that the award reiterated the rich legacy of Indian cinema where eminent personalities had contributed to its growth through different stages of its evolution. The award is the second in the series instituted by the Government to commemorate the centenary celebrations. 
 
He said that, apart from Ms Sarandon, acclaimed Iranian filmmaker Majid Majidi would also be present at the opening ceremony of the festival.
 
He said the festival screen, for the first time, films on Nobel Prize winners Nelson Mandela (A Long Walk to Freedom) and Lech Walesa .
 
The Lifetime Achievement Award will be conferred on legendary Czech film director Jiri Menzel.
 
For the first time, a film on India’s freedom struggle leader Basha Khan would be screened at the Festival. For the first time, a film produced and directed by an Afghan director will also be screened at the festival.
 
Mr Tewari said the festival would highlight for the first time cinema from the North-eastern states of India. 
 
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There will also be a retrospective of the Best Children's Films in commemoration of 100 years of Indian cinema.
 
Mr Tewari said the package would showcase 15 National Award winning and classic Indian children’s films. 
 
Special attention had been given to the animation section where 285 films had been received. For the first time, a separate category of Competitive Section for animation films had been introduced. 
 
For the festival, a record number of entries, 123 in all, had been received for the “Little Director” section, films made by children from India and around the world.
 
For the first time, films had been sourced from prestigious International Children’s Film Festivals. The children’s film festival would have a country focus retrospective of Czech films, he added.
 
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