The 34th edition of the International Film Festival of India (Oct 9-20) - the last to be held in New Delhi before the venue shifts to Goa next year - will open with Dr. Chandraprakash Dwivedi's magnum opus Pinjar.
Based on Amrita Pritam's novel of the same name and set during the Partition of India and Pakistan, it stars Manoj Bajpai and Urmila Matondkar.
Rituparno Ghosh's Chokher Bali, based on Rabindranath Tagore's novel and starring Aishwarya Rai, and Vishal Bhardwaj's Maqbool, inspired by Macbeth and starring Om Puri and Naseeruddin Shah with Tabu and Irrfan Khan will also have their Indian premieres at the festival.
The Cinema of the World section will feature Pixar Entertainment's Finding Nemo, Lars Von Trier's Dogville and Swimming Pool by Francois Ozon.
The festival also feature a retrospective of films by Lars Von Trier and Martin Karmitz. The Indian retrospective will feature films directed and produced by B R Chopra and K S Sethumadhavan.
The Indian panorama section has 18 Indian features as well as 13 non-features and a special homage to actress Leela Chitnis who passed away recently.
The highlight of the festival is the Asian Competition Section which will award a cash prize of $10,000 for the best film of the year (Golden Peacock), $5,000 for the Silver Peacock and US$5,000 for the Special Jury Award.
IFFI director Neelam Kapur told Screen Daily.com, 'The idea is to try and present the best and the brightest of Indian cinema and to make the festival truly international. We're trying to redefine the image of IFFI'
The government is making an effort to revive the Film Bazaar as part of the market. 'We wish to make the festival a facilitator for marketing of Indian films and extend its reach and acceptability to the global arena,' information and broadcasting minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told ScreenDaily.com.
Buyers from the Mauritius Film Development Corporation, South African Video & Television Corporation, China Central Television, Mauritius Broadcasting Corporation and China Film Group Corporation have been invited to the market.
More than 20 local companies and associations have confirmed participation at IFFI 2003.
The festival which attracts 3000 Indian and overseas delegates will open on 9 October 2003 at Siri Fort Auditorium - I, New Delhi and the chief guest will be the deputy prime minister of India Lal Krishan Advani. The guest of honour will be Indian film stars Kamal Hassan and actress Kareena Kapoor who will light the traditional lamp.