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New Delhi : The valedictory ceremony for the 49th edition of International Film Festival of India (IFFI), Goa, got off to a glittering start at the Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Indoor Stadium at Taleigaon, Goa, on November 28, 2018.

Union Tourism Minister K J Alphons graced the closing ceremony along with a host of dignitaries from the political and cinematic landscape. Governor of Goa Mridula Sinha,Governor of Punjab V P Singh Badnore, Union Minister of State for AYUSH (I/C) Shripad Naik, Minister for Town and Country Planning, Goa, Vijay Sardesai, Secretary, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Amit Khare  were also present.

Indian cine celebrities Anil Kapoor, Rakul Preet, Chitrangada Singh, Diana Penty and Keerthi Suresh walked the red carpet adding to the colour and glamour of the star-studded evening. Many renowned film personalities such as IFFI 2018 Lifetime Achievement Awardee Dan Wolman, Member of Parliament Manoj Tewari, Anil Kapoor, Arbaaz Khan (son of master screenwriter Salim Khan), Indian Panorama Jury Chief Rahul Rawail, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra and Kabir Bedi too attended the closing ceremony.

Stating that the 49th edition has been a great success, Khare said that film bazaar has elicited response from various countries across the world. Noting that the preparations for the golden jubilee celebration of the festival next year has begun, the Secretary said that the government would like to showcase the film culture of each and every region of the country and trace the history of IFFI from the 1st to the 49th. He added that the facilities at Goa would be enhanced given the overwhelming response received from film-lovers. He said that this is being done, so that the 50th IFFI can have many more delegates than this year.

Over the last nine days, more than 220 movies from 67 countries were screened at IFFI. While the festival opened with the world premiere of English film ‘The Aspern Papers’, the world premiere of German film ‘Sealed Lips’ marked the conclusion of this festival bonanza. Twentysix feature films and 21 non-feature films were screened in the Indian Panorama section. While Israel was the focus country, Jharkhand was the focus state this year. This is for the first time that any state was made focus state at IFFI. Veteran Israeli filmmaker Dan Wolman was given he Lifetime Achievement Award at the opening ceremony. Another new section at IFFI this year was the screening of six Indian sports biopics as an extension of the Khelo India initiative.

In the International competition section, 15 movies were screened of which 3 were Indian. Festival Kaleidoscope section carried 20 critically acclaimed international films that have been to major film festivals and majority of them being multiple award winners. World Panorama section had 67 films which are specially curated for the festival. This included 4 World Premiers, 2 International Premiers, 15 Asia Premiers and 60 India Premiers. This year World Panorama section presented 15 films which are Oscar submissions from respective countries.

At Master classes and In-Conversations, a host of film personalities interacted with delegates. Two movies, Sholay and Hichki, were also screened at this year’s IFFI as part of a special package for visually impaired persons. Retrospective section of Ingmar Bergman in connection with his birth centenary celebration was another speciality of the festival, according to a PIB release.

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