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    Feb 2010


    Default Akshay Kumar inaugurates 10-day IFFI

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    The 43rd International Film Festival of India got underway in a grand manner yesterday when Akshay Kumar inaugurated the 10-day cinematic extravaganza. The festival will celebrate 100 years of Indian cinema over the next 10 days.

    Recalling his early connection to cinema and how his family skipped meals to buy movie tickets, the Oh MY God producer-actor said that it was incredible that the country was celebrating the 100-year-old cinematic legacy at the IFFI.

    "This international film festival is an occasion to remember what cinema is all about. Let me start by telling what cinema means to me. Cinema means to me emotion, excitement, suspense but most important what it means to me is family time.

    "When I was a kid every weekend me, my sister, my mom and my day, we would go without lunch every single Saturday of every month so that at night my family could afford four tickets and four samosas and four mango stick ice creams," the star said.

    The actor later asked the nearly 2,000 strong gathering to stand silently for a minute in respect of Dev Anand , his father-in-law Rajesh Khanna, A K Hangal, Dara Singh, Ashok Mehta, Yash Chopra and Shiv Sena leader Bal Thackeray.

    Polish director Krzyszt of Zanussi, 73, received a standing ovation from the audience as he was conferred with the Lifetime Achievement award by Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari.

    The minister, in his address, said that the Government of India was taking a number of steps to nurture the Indian film Industry. "Various schemes conceived by the Government aim at promoting Indian films in the world arena, encouraging production of quality films and encouraging the documentary movement in the country. With a view to preserve our film heritage, the government is embarking on an ambitious National Film Heritage Mission during the 12th Five year plan," he averred.

    The Chief Minister of Goa Manohar Parrikar said that the journey to make Goa a preferred film destination had started eight years ago and now the focus was to take the festival to "a real international level."



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