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The 9th Ajanta-Ellora International Film Festival Announced

The 9th Ajanta-Ellora International Film Festival Announced

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Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar,An annual celebration of acclaimed films from around India and the world, the 9th Ajanta-Ellora Film Festival (AIFF 2024) has been organized from January 3 to 7, 2024 at Inox, Prozone Mall, Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar The opening ceremony of the festival, scheduled on Wednesday, January 3, 2024 at 7.00 PM, is to take place at Rukmini Auditorium, MGM Campus, Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar in the gracious presence of national and international artists, film lovers and eminent personalities from different walks of life.

AIFF is organised by the Marathwada Art, Culture and Film Foundation and presented by Nath Group, MGM University and Yashwantrao Chavan Centre, Mumbai. It has the proud endorsement of FIPRESCI, a renowned international federation of film critics and FFSI, the Federation of Film Societies of India. It also enjoys the support of the Government of Maharashtra and the National Film Development Corporation Ltd, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India. The Nath School of Business Management and Technology (NSBT) and Abhyudaya Foundation are the co-organizers of the festival. Dailyhunt is the digital media partner while the MGMU School of Film Arts is the academic partner and MGM Radio FM 90.8 is the radio partner of the festival.

*Objective of the Ajanta-Ellora International Film Festival*

AIFF’s vision is to sensitize the general public about the intricacies of film art and foster a culture of film appreciation in society. The festival also aims to bring evergreen classic cinema from across the world to the cinelovers of Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar, project Marathwada and Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar as cultural centre and production hub for film production at global level, highlight the ‘Tourism Capital of Maharashtra’ tag of the city on the world map, provide a platform to Marathi films, and offer a much-needed opportunity to local artists to showcase their talent and connect with established filmmakers and experts from the field.

*Indian Competition*

All five days of the festival are packed with enchanting programs including different film sections. Like every year, this year too, has a separate Indian Competition of nine Indian films in different languages. These films will be judged by a five-member national level jury who will watch the films with the audience in the theatre. The winner in this category will be awarded with the Golden Kailash Award and a cash prize of one lakh rupees. The best actor, best actress and best script will also be rewarded individually.

Veteran actor and director Dhritiman Chatterjee (Kolkata) will be the Chairperson of Indian Competition Jury while the acclaimed cinematographer Dimo Popov (Czech Republic), senior director Nachiket Patwardhan (Pune), senior film critic Rashmi Doraiswamy (Delhi) and renowned cinematographer Hari Nair (Panaji) will be the jury members.

*FiPresci Awards*

FiPresci is an international association of film critics. FiPresci India awards the best films from around the world. These awards are of international repute and it is a matter of pride for the people from the region that FiPresci has chosen the festival for this year’s award selection. Three special juries from FiPresci India will review the films in the festival (except films from Indian Competition). The chairperson of the jury will be N. Manu Chakravarthy (Bangalore), Sreedevi P. Arvind (Cochin) and Sachin Chatte (Panaji) will be its members.

*Opening Ceremony and Lifetime Achievement Award*

The Opening Ceremony of the film festival will be held on Wednesday, January 3, 2024 at 6.30 pm at Rukmini Auditorium, MGM Campus, Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar. The festival will be inaugurated by renowned film director R. Balki. The Principal Secretary of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India Mr. Apurva Chandra (IAS) and noted film director Anubhav Sinha will be the chief guests of the event.

This year, the festival’s Padmapani, Lifetime Achievement Award will be conferred upon the legendary poet, lyricist and screenwriter, Javed Akhtar for his invaluable contributions to the Indian cinema.

The General Manager of NFDC D. Ramakrishnan, District Collector Astikkumar Pandey, Chairman of AIFF Organizing Committee Nandkishor Kagliwal, Chancellor of MGM University Ankushrao Kadam, Vice Chancellor Dr. Vilas Sapkal, Festival Director of AIFF Ashok Rane, Artistic Director Chandrakant Kulkarni, Prozone Centre Director and Senior Vice President Kamal Soni, Siddharth Manohar of Inox will be the special guests of the closing ceremony.

Fallen Lives, the globally acclaimed German movie of this year will be the opening film of the Festival. It will be screened after half an hour of the opening ceremony at Inox, Prozone Mall, where the festival will continue for the next four days.

*Closing Ceremony*

The closing ceremony of the festival will be held on Sunday, January 07, 2024 at 7 PM at Inox Prozone Mall. Famous film director Ashutosh Gowariker will be the chief guest of the ceremony. The Special Inspector General of Police Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar/Aurangabad Range Dnyaneshwar Chavan, Municipal Commissioner G. Sreekanth and other dignitaries will be the special guests of the occasion.

Anatomy of Fall – the Palme d’Or (Golden Palm) winner French film from the Cannes Film Festival will be the closing film of this year. It will be screened after the award distribution function.

*Master Class and Special Lectures*

Apart from film screenings, the festival also hosts an array of other programs. A Masterclass by R. Balki, the director of sensitive films like Paa, Chini Kam, Ghumar, Shamitabh, and Padman has been organized on Thursday, January 4, 2024 at 2 pm at Inox.

On Thursday, January 4, 2024 at 6.00 PM, an Exclusive Interview of the legendary poet, lyricist and screenwriter Javed Akhtar will be held at Inox, Prozone Mall. Director Jayprad Desai will have a candid conversation with him.

Another Masterclass by Anubhav Sinha, the director of films like Article 15, Thappad, Ra-One and Mulk has been scheduled on Friday, January 5, 2024 at 2 PM at Inox, Prozone Mall.

On Saturday, January 6, 2024 at 2.30 PM, a special lecture on ‘Gandhi and Cinema’ by Central Government-PIB Senior Officer Prakash Magadum has been organized.

On Saturday, January 6, 2024 at 6.30 pm, there will be an interactive session – ‘Meet the Directors’ with all the directors of the Indian Competition has been organized. Here film buffs will have an opportunity to interact with and ask questions to the directors.

On January 7, 2024 at 12 noon, a special interaction session will be held with veteran actor and director Dritiman Chatterjee on ‘Understanding Mrinal Sen’. Mr. Chatterjee has played the lead actor in many of director Mrinal Sen’s films.

  • Interaction with Artists:

Directors, actors and technicians of all the regional films in the competition section will be present at the festival and will interact with the audience after the screening of their films.

*Marathwada Short Film Competition:*

A Short-film Completion has been organized for budding filmmakers from Marathwada in the festival. The competition has received overwhelming response from all eight districts of the region. The five short films selected for the final round of the competition will be screened during the festival and best out of them will be honoured with a special award and cash prize of Rs. 25,000.

*MGM School of Film Arts’ Production*

The festival will also screen nine short films produced by the students of MGM School of Film Arts and the film, ‘Pachola’ based on the veteran literary figure R.R. Borade’s novel by the same name.

  • Film Appreciation Workshop

In order to ensure maximum student participation in the festival, film appreciation workshops will be organized in twenty five colleges in the city in the presence of film critics from December 20, 2023 to January 2, 2024.

*Delegate Registration*

With an aim to provide cinelovers with an opportunity to watch best films from around the world at an extremely affordable cost, AIFF has capped the catalogue fee at just Rs. 500. Senior citizens and students can avail it at an even more discounted prize of Rs. 300. The delegate registration has started now and film lovers can book their seats at www.aifilmfest.in. Offline registration is also available at Saket Book World (Aurangpura), Hotel Swad (Osmanpura), Tapdia Inox, Inox-Prozone Mall and Nirmik Group, Opp. Venkatesh Mangal Karyalaya, Sutagirni Road.

*Organizing Committee*

The Ajanta-Ellora International Film Festival’s Founder and Organizing Committee Chairman Nandkishor Kagliwal, Chief Mentor Ankushrao Kadam, Sachin Mule, Satish Kagliwal, Festival Director Ashok Rane, Artistic Director Chandrakant Kulkarni, Festival Convener Nilesh Raut, Creative Directors Jayaprad Desai, Dnyanesh Zoting, Shiv Kadam and Dr. Srirang Deshpande, Suhas Tendukar, Akash Kagliwal, Dr. Aparna Kakkad, Dr. Ashish Gadekar, Dr. Rekha Shelke, Prof. Dasu Vaidya, Dr. Anand Nikalje, Prerna Dalvi, Dr. Kailas Ambhure, Neena Nikalje, Nita Pansare, Subodh Jadhav, Nikhil Bhalerao, Amit Patil, Kishore Nikam, Ajay Bhavalkar, Neeta Pansare, Nilima Jog and others have urged citizens to participate in the festival to highlight the name of Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar in the film sector at global level.

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