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The Whole World Is Not Quite Family Yet

By stressing glamour, the International Film Festival of India celebrates excess, not plurality.

The 44th edition of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) will begin in Goa from 20 November 2013. During the six decades of its existence, IFFI has carved out a niche for itself in the world film festival circuit. This year also marks the centenary of Indian cinema, if we take Dadasaheb Phalke’s Raja Harischandra as the beginning. (Why Dadasaheb Torne’s Sree Pundalik, made a year earlier, or Hiralal Sen’s stage plays, or the umpteen short documentary actualites made earlier are not considered as “the origin” is a moot question.)

The first IFFI was held from 24 January to 1 February 1952 in Mumbai and it was later taken to Chennai (then Madras), Delhi and Kolkata (Calcutta). Since the mid-1960s, IFFI has been a regular annual ritual, initially held in Delhi for many years, and then, as an afterthought, taking on a gypsy avatar and traversing different cities like Chennai, Hyderabad, Bengalaru (Bangalore), Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Thiruvananthapuram, before finally settling down in Goa as its permanent venue since 2004.

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