It is not uncommon for film festivals in India to get embroiled in controversies, and the run-up to IFFI 2017 was no different amidst all the raging controversy surrounding the release of Padmavati. However, the good thing is despite all the controversies, the inauguration of IFFI 2017 inauguration was a star-studded affair with Bollywood stars like Shah Rukh Khan, Shahid Kapoor, Sridevi, Boney Kapoor, A R Rahman, Anupam Kher, Jahnvi Kapoor and Ishaan Khattar among others in attendance.
Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan declared open the 48th edition of the International Film Festival of India open in Goa and spoke of cinema as a balm of love for dissent and discussion and a catalyst for unity. Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Smriti Irani, Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, Shahid Kapoor, Sridevi, head of the competition’s international jury Muzaffar Ali and a host of Indian and international film dignitaries were present.
Quoting ‘vasudaiva kutumbhakam,’ which means bringing the world together like a family, King Khan said, “I believe no matter what your language is, no matter what country your story comes from, and no matter what your ideology is, story-telling and listening should be a familial experience which binds us together, even in the face of dissent and discussion as it usually happens in a family, instead of tearing us apart.”
“I truly believe that films are made with the collaboration of hundreds of people coming together, working relentlessly for an idea they believe in,” he said stressing on the significance of love in the process of film-making.
“Sometimes we dance along with the film. At other times, we get angry disturbed or agitated. That exactly is the magic of storytelling, a magic which has the power to touch all our senses and in doing so, actually binding us together. The essence of storytelling is incomplete, if there is no story listener. And I believe that storytellers and story-listeners are or at least should be like a family,” SRK said.
Soon after, in customary style, he set the stage on fire, with his performance, which also includes his outstretched hands pose.
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