New Delhi: The 43rd international film festival is celebrating 100 years of cinema by staging a 20-minute dialogue between Dadasaheb Phalke and his wife Savitri. Made by Phalke's grand niece, the play throws light on what inspired Phalke to make India's first full-length feature film 'Raja Harishchandra' in 1913.
"We have a biography on Dadasaheb Phalke made by his grand niece which we will showcase on November 21. We wanted to celebrate the 100 years of cinema and what better way to do it than this. It is a 20-minute dialogue between Phalke and his wife Savitri which will be adapted into a play," IFFI director Shankar Mohan told PTI.
Besides this, the 11-day festival will also screen 26 feature films and 36 documentary and non-feature films to commemorate the centenary year of Indian cinema.
"It is a special time this year as we complete 100 years, and so we have a collection of movies which will be screened. IFFI has changed a lot over the past years in terms of content and delivery and we aim to make it better each year," he added.
The festival, which starts from November 20, will open with the screening of Oscar-winning filmmaker Ang Lee's 'Life Of Pi' while the closing movie is India born director Mira Nair's 'The Reluctant Fundamentalist'.
Mohan believes an opening and closing film of a festival makes a statement and he wanted these two movies because they have a strong India connect.
"Parts of 'Life of Pi' have been shot in Pondicherry while Mira Nair has been associated with festival for long and is one of us. It is a great achievement for India that Mira's movie has done so well overseas," he added.
'Life Of Pi', based on a novel by Yann Martel of the same name, stars Irrfan Khan, Tabu and debutant Suraj Sharma. It follows a gripping tale of a boy, who is adrift in sea on a lifeboat with a tiger.
While 'The Reluctant Fundamentalist' is based on a novel by author Mohsin Hamid and narrates the story of a young Pakistani's disillusionment with America after 9/11.
Mohan has been associated with IFFI for two years now and a filmmaker himself, he says the journey has been satisfying with a lot of ups and downs.
"I have a huge passion towards cinema and that is what keeps my association going strong with the film festival. I was a documentary filmmaker for many years before this so I understand the nuances of cinema.
"This helps me with the selection of movies for the festival. There is a certain requirement for a festival of this magnitude and it is difficult to live up to that," Mohan said.
IFFI also pay tribute to legendary filmmaker Yash Chopra, actor Rajesh Khanna and Dara Singh. Khann's son-in-law Akshay Kumar will be inaugrating the festival.