A trip to 54th IFFI 2023
- Part 1 -

Meghachandra Kongbam *

As November approached, my excitement built for the International Film Festival of India, commonly known as IFFI. This cinematic extravaganza, held in the picturesque locale of Goa from November 20 to 28, has made the coastal city its home since 2004. For cinephiles like me, attending this grand annual event is akin to embarking on a pilgrimage-an immersive journey into the contemporary world illuminated by the artistry of cinema.

The allure is so strong that I never think twice about investing any amount for this enriching pilgrimage. Why is my visit to IFFI a regular pilgrimage? Three impactful reasons persistently draw me to this event.

Firstly, the festival serves as an enlightening window to the pulse of contemporary films from diverse corners of the globe, spanning various genres such as docu-montage, drama, animation, and films crafted by talented women. It's a captivating journey through the multifaceted landscape of world cinema.

Secondly, the opportunity to participate in the Annual General Meeting of the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI), India Chapter, is an invaluable aspect of my pilgrimage. The scheduled gatherings during the festival and other affiliated events provide a unique chance to engage with the critical discourse surrounding cinema on an international scale.

Lastly, I view IFFI as a comprehensive learning ground for the intricacies of Indian cinema. It's not just about enjoying the films but also delving into the workings of the industry.

From understanding new Government policies in the media and entertainment sector to grappling with the problems and challenges faced by the film industry, the festival becomes a platform for gaining profound insights into the ever-evolving landscape of contemporary Indian cinema, with a special focus on regional contributions. Before arriving in Goa, I meticulously planned every detail of my trip.

I secured confirmation from the Press Information Bureau (PIB) to register for media accreditation on behalf of the Poknapham Daily, where I regularly contribute articles on cinema. In preparation, I thoroughly went through all the festival information provided in advance by the PIB. I strategically identified the films I wanted to watch and made online bookings well in advance.


I used to attend the inaugural ceremony of the festival because it provided valuable insights into the current state of Indian cinema through speeches delivered by the Union Minister and authorities of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. The nine-day extravaganza of the 54th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) kicked off with a splendid opening ceremony at the Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Indoor Stadium in Panaji, Goa on Monday, the 20th in the evening.

Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting (I&B), Anurag Singh Thakur, inaugurated the event in the presence of Goa Chief Minister Dr Pramod Sawant, Minister of State for I&B Dr L Murugan, MoS for Tourism Shripad Naik, and other dignitaries. Anurag Singh Thakur made a bold statement regarding the Indian film industry.

The Union Minister asserted that India is poised to become the 3rd largest media and entertainment market within the next five years. With an impressive annual growth rate of 20 percent, the Indian media and entertainment industry currently rank as the fifthlargest and most globalized industry in the world. Thakur emphasized the widespread global influence of Indian films and the growing interest of international films in the Indian market.

In a notable announcement, Thakur highlighted the introduction of a new section for OTT awards in IFFI, recognizing the rapid growth of content production in this sector. He expressed, "It will acknowledge the transformative role of original content creators in India and celebrate their contribution to employment and innovation."

Furthermore, Thakur underlined India's distinction as the largest film producer in the world, with Indian films now reaching the farthest corners of the globe. In another significant announcement, the Union Minister disclosed an increase in the incentive for foreign film production in India from 30% to 40% of the incurred expenditure.

The limit was also raised from Rs 2.5 Crore to Rs 30 Crore, exceeding 3.5 million US Dollars, accompanied by an additional 5% bonus for Significant Indian Content (SIC). The Minister explained, "Given India’s size and vast potential, there was a need for a higher incentive to attract medium and big-budget international projects."

He further added, "This paradigm shift in incentivizing film production serves as a testament to India’s commitment and support for artistic expression and reinforces our position as a preferred destination for cinematic endeavours." The Minister further announced that a new film policy will be unveiled by the Central Government soon. Film stars mesmerized the audience with their scintillating performances at the star-studded opening ceremony.


Films of various categories graced the festival screens, each offering a unique cinematic experience. The International Competition, a curated selection of 15 international and Indian fiction feature films showcases emerging trends in the aesthetics and politics of film. This selection envisioned by established masters and powerful young voices is scrutinized by a distinguished jury.

The jury comprised of four world-renowned cinema personalities is tasked with choosing the awardees for the Golden and Silver Peacocks. The Golden Peacock award for the Best Film went to the Persian film- Endless Borders, directed by Abbas Amini. The film explores the complexity of emotional and moral borders, suggesting that self-imposed limitations can be more intricate than physical boundaries, as noted by the jury.

Bulgarian Director Stephan Komandarev received the Silver Peacock for Best Director for his film- Blaga’s Lessons, delivering a powerful and shocking lesson through a woman torn between achieving her goals and compromising her values, according to the jury's citation.

The Best Actor award was presented to Iranian actor Pouria Rahimi Sam for his role in Endless Borders, for the richness of his acting and interaction with co-stars, both children and adults, in challenging shooting conditions.

French actress Melanie Thierry received the Silver Peacock for Best Actor (Female) for her exemplary role in Party of Fools. The jury commended Thierry's range of expressions, skilfully portraying a spectrum of emotions from hope to despair in her character's unpredictable journey.

Indian Filmmaker Rishabh Shetty earned the Special Jury Award for his critically acclaimed film- Kantara. The jury praised Shetty's ability to convey a significant story rooted in the culture of forest demons, emphasizing its universal appeal to audiences regardless of culture and social status.

In the category of Best Debut Feature Film of a Director, a compilation of seven international and Indian fiction features showcases the creative visions of the next generation of filmmakers.

Reger Azad Kaya, a promising filmmaker from the Syrian Arab Republic, was honoured with the Award for Best Debut Feature Film of a Director for his work- When the Seedlings Grow. The jury praised the film for skilfully narrating a tale that captures a day in the life of a father, daughter, and a lost boy through a succession of small yet impactful events.

Ten films, including three Indian productions, contended for the ICFT-UNESCO Gandhi Medal, presented by IFFI in collaboration with the International Council for Film, Television, and Audiovisual Communication (ICFT) in Paris.

To be continued...

* Meghachandra Kongbam wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was webcasted on 09 December 2023 .

* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.

  • Naorem Roshibina- Wushu Medallist : Gallery
  • Violence in Manipur 2023-2024 : Timeline
  • 7 facts about Meitei Goddess Khunu Leima
  • Discrimination of Meiteis in Manipur #1
  • Entry : Manipur State Film Awards, 2024
  • Understanding profundity of secularism
  • Fencing of Indo-Myanmar Border: Zeliang
  • Politics of inking the SoO pact
  • A chink in Kuki-Chin legislators armour
  • Protest against SoO agreement #1 : Gallery
  • March Calendar for Year 2024 : Tools
  • Press conference at Press Club of India
  • Workshop : Listening to our environment
  • Meetei bears more tribal characters
  • Calling out AR men from their bunkers
  • Re-activating state economy
  • History & Culture of Manipur through Puyas
  • Blood Donation at Mongshangei
  • 8 from Manipur- Sangeet Natak award 2023
  • National Science Day on Indigenous Tech
  • Grand finale of Mega Miss North East
  • Coming close to understanding of anarchy
  • Reasonable suggestion
  • Nupi Landa Thaunaphabishing #8 :: Book
  • Finding all & treating all TB
  • Facts about Article 371-C #1
  • The Power of Poppy - 21 :: Poem
  • Radio E-pao :: Contemporary (350+ songs)
  • The silence continues, the clash continues
  • A sage advice on NRC
  • Consequences of Hereditary Chieftainship
  • e-Archiving of Manipur Gazettes launched
  • Grand finale of Mega Mister North East
  • Children are clay pots, parents are potters
  • Spring skin & hair care & make-up
  • GHOST of PEACE :: Download Booklet
  • 'Terminate SoO with Kuki Armed Groups'
  • ST demand & Govinda ji
  • Memorandum to Union Home Minister
  • Role of parents during board exams
  • In perfect imperfection: Love's untold story
  • Descent of Radha-Krishna #24: Download
  • Shaheed Memorial Football Final : Gallery
  • O, Martyrs, Martyrs
  • Remembering the fire at Sainik School Imphal
  • Meephamlen & Life Time Achievement
  • Program: Youth Leadership & Development
  • 7 facts about ancient Goddess Panthoibi
  • Myanmar border fencing; arson in CCpur
  • Research Officer- Financial @ Amethyst
  • Exploring nutritional virtues of maternal milk
  • Fine dining with flavours of Northeast
  • ST categorisation : Not the job of judiciary
  • Growing demand for abrogating SoO pact
  • Save Manipur : Protest [Feb 15] #2 : Gallery
  • Agro forestry for sustainable agriculture
  • Relief materials & interaction at Kangpokpi
  • Exodus from Myanmar justify 'border fencing'
  • Earth Civilization :: Poem
  • Enhancing domestic fish consumption in India
  • Growing call to abrogate SoO pact
  • Acquitting the criminal, penalising the victim
  • Nupi Landa Thaunaphabishing #7 :: Book
  • Recipe for a full fledged civil war
  • Health Camp at Santhong Relief Camp
  • Farming- loss-making but MSP is not practical
  • Magic ingredients for radiant & flawless skin
  • First Assam LitArt Festival concludes
  • Silence of the guns, for the moment
  • A brighter side of the conflict
  • Interview with Naorem Roshibina (Wushu)
  • Memo to Chief Minister : The Way Forward
  • Best wishes to all students of classes 10th
  • The Power of Poppy - 20 :: Poem
  • Boost student retention power for board exam
  • Claiming ancestral rights over Thangjing
  • Indeed, no comparison with Manipur violence
  • Arambai Tengol & SFs #4 : Gallery
  • Rising above adversity for excellence
  • 7 facts about Meitei Goddess Nganu Leima
  • 149 experts call to find all TB to stop TB
  • Resilient tourism for vibrant career
  • Non-stop assault on Sugnu : The pattern
  • Nearly 5mn candidates for 60k posts
  • Folktales of Manipur 2.0
  • Nothing to kill or die for
  • The Kutsapo Proclamation
  • Nagas oppose border fencing with Myanmar
  • Great game for peace and security
  • IIT Delhi at Abu Dhabi
  • Restraining armed forces vis- Kuki militants
  • Drawing the battle line for Moreh at last
  • Descent of Radha-Krishna #23: Download
  • Aira Thoudam - coveted scholarship in Egypt
  • Condemns violence committed in CCpur
  • Last Smile of our Fallen Comrade : Poem
  • Sachinker ties knot with Raina Rajkumari
  • Complex challenges & calls for resolution
  • Save Manipur : Protest [Feb 15] #1 : Gallery
  • Sonia Nepram at 74th Berlinale, Germany
  • Manipur: Best AIFF Grassroots Award 2024
  • Children struggling tough competition
  • Reliance Foundation partners with NSDC
  • Bigger agenda behind CCpur protest
  • When Frankenstein acts as a law unto itself
  • A Cloud in Trousers : A translation #4
  • Manipur imbroglio and our lessons
  • The Living Song :: Poem
  • Entries : Mumbai International Film Festival
  • MG Motor India's new facility in Silchar
  • Self-funded Rail budget earns profits
  • Points Imphal should lay before Delhi
  • Dissenters not to go down without a fight
  • Art Exhibition @ RKCS Museum #5 : Gallery
  • Article 371 C aggravates ethnic divide
  • Into the lap of nature : Udupi #2
  • Delhi's dance with Meitei-Kuki conundrum
  • 'Vividhata ka Amrit Mahotsav' in Delhi
  • 2024 may pose challenges in 11 States
  • FMR scrapped, border fencing assured
  • Time to take a final call
  • Legacies of the Khamba-Thoibi classics
  • Transforming education in Manipur
  • The Power of Poppy - 19 :: Poem
  • Beauty tip to look awesome- Valentine's Day
  • Towards understanding of human journeys
  • If them then why not the Meiteis ?
  • Ensuring basic rights of conflict children
  • 75th Republic Day @ Kangla #2 : Gallery
  • Bambam Thounaojam - MMA World Champion
  • Distress Relief @ Sugnu [Jan] : Gallery
  • Manipur's struggle for peace amidst tension
  • Hold govts to account for ending tobacco
  • Meghalaya Cancer Conclave 2024
  • Not the time to take political mileage
  • Way off the mark
  • Abnormal population growth of Kuki from 1881
  • May 3 violence :: Poem
  • Bharat-Burma border barbed
  • Importance of STEM careers for girls
  • Development of mental health in school
  • Displaced children in relief camps
  • Is it the end of Kuki-AR honeymoon period ?
  • Descent of Radha-Krishna #22: Download
  • Manipur Technology Innovation Hub Startup
  • As Time Ticks Away :: Poem
  • Architecture & design confluence - BAIC
  • UG Scholarships 2023-24 results announced
  • Occupational therapy role in erb's palsy
  • National Voters' Day @ Lamphel : Gallery
  • Into the lap of nature : Udupi #1
  • Stop disrespect for places of worship
  • IBSD & NBRC joined hand for research
  • MedTech Mitra : A facilitation highway uptake
  • First edition of Assam LitArt Festival
  • Weed out the illegal immigrants
  • Behind and beyond the rhetoric
  • Nupi Landa Thaunaphabishing #6 :: Book
  • Training on cultivation of mushroom at Tera
  • Workshop: Exploring genomic resources of NE
  • India-Australia Partnership in Education
  • Why a new dawn of development in NE
  • Healthy Hair : keep it healthy
  • Beyond scrapping FMR
  • The letter of WKZIC to ADB
  • A Northeasterner's Reflection on India
  • Feathers of different birds flock together
  • Manipur : 9 months into endless killings
  • Call to make Big Tobacco pay for health
  • Mahotsav : Richness of Northeast India
  • Noting the call from AMCO
  • Not enough to rest assured anyone
  • Resilience in adversity | Kumbi : Gallery
  • Why effective treatments for TB not out
  • Cease the strife :: Poem
  • Balancing mental well-being of students
  • FM Hi debt funds Rs 45 tr budget
  • Submission of admission, apology
  • Unveiling the mask of Kuki MLAs once again
  • Arambai Tengol & SFs [24 Jan] #3 : Gallery
  • Lessons from Manipur on vigilantism
  • Exposure to air pollution can lead to cancer
  • Interim budget: Need comprehensive reforms
  • From exam stress to success
  • Adding more teeth to the silence
  • Still, a far-off land for Mr Prime Minister
  • A Cloud in Trousers : A translation #3
  • Dissecting the strength of Kukis #2
  • Self Defence Training : for school girls
  • Bharat Ratna for the Mandir man
  • Desi remedy for farm sector
  • Noting the words of caution from UNC
  • The best way to settle Thangjing issue
  • Descent of Radha-Krishna #21: Download
  • Maharaj Gambhir Singh #2: Gallery
  • To Our Fallen Village Volunteers :: Poem
  • "It's Not My Choice" triumphs in every aspect
  • Jamir congratulates Advani for Bharat Ratna
  • Climate change needs to be taught
  • 75th Republic Day @ Kangla #1 : Gallery
  • Management fest at Assam University
  • Transformation from adulthood to parenthood
  • NEP's vision is to make India competitive
  • 35th Road Safety Campaign in North East
  • Budget - Welfare with Fiscal Discipline
  • Understanding call against lifting FMR
  • Nine months and counting
  • Statue in front of Western Gate, Kangla ?
  • My memories of Imphal from 1941 : Review
  • Auditions: 20th Mega Miss North East
  • Face scrubs for glowing skin
  • Auditions: 13th Mega Mister North East
  • Seaweed: Sea of opportunities
  • Continuing clash: Dialogue the way forward
  • The truth behind the objection
  • Gaan-Ngai at Keishamthong #2 : Gallery
  • Protests attack @ Moreh [18 Jan] #2: Gallery
  • Seeking solutions, not scapegoats: Response
  • Indo-Naga Talks (From 2012) :: Timeline
  • Gaan-Ngai at Keishamthong #1 : Gallery
  • Transforming education, building our future
  • Arambai Tengol & SFs [24 Jan] #2 : Gallery
  • Arambai Tengol & SFs [24 Jan] #1 : Gallery
  • Protests attack @ Moreh [17 Jan] #2 : Gallery
  • Protests attack @ Moreh [18 Jan] #1: Gallery
  • Guard of honor - W Somorjit : Gallery
  • 13 martyrs brought to JNIMS : Gallery
  • Mangani Leihul of 13 martyrs #2 : Gallery
  • Oinam Chaoba Devi: Sepak Takraw : Gallery
  • Ayekpam Maipak (Sepak Takraw) : Gallery
  • Shanglakpam Nilakanta (Hockey) : Gallery
  • List of Kings of Manipur: 33 - 1984 AD