The 48th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) has lots in store for the delegates and cine enthusiasts. This year, Canada has partnered with IFFI to be the ‘Country Focus’ and the festival will feature eight Canadian films across different genres. The Government of Canada has joined forces with Telefilm Canada and the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) to lead a delegation of noted Canadian filmmakers and personalities in Goa. The eight films that will be screened for IFFI are – Closet Monster directed by Stephen Dunn; Don’t Talk to Irene directed by Pat Mills; Eye of Juliet directed by Kim Nguyen; Mediation Park directed by Mina Shum; Old Stone directed by Johnny Ma; Ravenous (Les Affames) directed by Robin Aubert; The Stairs (Documentary) directed by Hugh Gibson and A Worthy Companion (re-titled Allure) directed by Carlos Sanchez and Jason Sanchez.
Speaking at the press conference held at Kala Academy on Tuesday, Consul General of Canada in Mumbai, Jordan Reeves said: “Canada has selected India as country focus in our cultural space. India is known to produce many films while we, in Canada spend nearly 10 billion on TV and films.” He further added that scholarships are made available for Indian filmmakers who are willing to shoot in Canada with special priority to female filmmakers. Well known Canadian filmmaker, Atom Egoyan will be presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Artistic director, Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), Cameron Bailey said that this festival will help in bridging the gap between the two countries – India and Canada. “India has a massive film industry while in Canada we have outsourced major part of our commercial industry,” said Cameron.
Of the eight films to be screened at IFFI this year, Old Stone marked the opening of the Country Focus section. “I was born in China but grew up in Canada. This is the second time I am coming to Goa after a gap of nearly 10 years. The film, ‘Old Stone’ is shot in China. It feels good to be here,” said director Johnny Ma.
Actress and film director, April Mullen from Canada shared that the Canadian film industry has supported female filmmakers relentlessly. “Through such support you have creative freedom and are able to bring out the best from within yourself. I am hoping to shoot in India someday and also want Indians to come to Canada and shoot in our land,” says April.
Festival director, IFFI 2017, Sunit Tandon said: “We are proud to associate with Canada and happier that this has been taken forward with the Government of Canada, Telefilm Canada and TIFF.”