PUNE: The 18th Pune International Film Festival (PIFF) was inaugurated on Thursday at Balgandharva Rangmandir. Eminent film and television personalities were present.
Veteran actor Vikram Gokhale was honoured for his contribution to films, TV and theatre. TV personality BP Singh, the creator of the highest running Indian television show - CID was also honoured. Three popular actors of the show Shivaji Satam, Aditya Srivastava and Dayanand Shetty were present. They were welcomed with whistles and the famous dialogue from the show, ‘Daya Darwaza Tod Do’. Singer Usha Khanna, who could not make it to the event, was awarded for her contribution to music.
Amit Vilasrao Deshmukh, Cultural Minister of State, Dr Jabbar Patel, Chairperson, PIFF, Subodh Bhave, Mukta Barve, Dr Mohan Agashe and many others were present. The festival is celebrating the cultural contribution of Maharashtra and 60 years of Film and Television Institute of India (FTII). The event began with musical performances.
Dr Jabbar Patel, Chairperson, PIFF, said, “The whole system should understand what a journey it has been. We are celebrating the culture of Maharashtra and celebrating the landmark Marathi actor - Dr Shreeram Lagoo and the festival dedicated to his memory. He used his intellectual intelligence during his performances. We are also celebrating 60 years of FTII, which has been some leading cinematographers, editors, which a big achievement.” He also mentioned that the inauguration was to be held at FTII but because of the strike, they had to shift the venue. “We must respect sentiments of the students. As a vice-chairman of FTII, I have also witnessed two strikes.”
He said the festival has received 2,000 films from 35 countries in the competition section. Out of these films, 13 international and one Indian film has been selected. “We also have non-Marathi jury members judging the Marathi competition section. There is also the international student film competition,” added Patel.
Cultural Minister Amit Vilasrao Deshmukh said that he would fulfil every promise that his father had made to Patel. The government would support and conserve Marathi culture, films, music, language, theatre. The culture of Maharashtra would travel across the globe.
In his award acceptance speech, FTII chairperson and alumnus of the institute BP Singh said, “I have spent my entire life in television. I am a pure TV guy. To appreciate TV’s contribution in a film festival is a big thing.”
Actor Vikram Gokhale said, “I have received many awards but with this one, my emotions are attached because I had a great relationship with Dr Lagoo. I have idolised his performances for 40 years. I was never afraid about what he would say if I didn’t like all his performances. His death is my personal loss.”
He said that he always believed in younger generation. “I am proud of young actors, directors.” PIFF will conclude on January 16.