Goa Heads 'West' for Opening Film

Indian Festival Runs from November 22 through December 2

NEW DELHI -- West Is West, the sequel to 1999's hit British outing East Is East, will open the 41st International Film Festival of India that runs November 22 –December 2 in Goa's Panaji city.

IFFI is jointly organized by the government's New Delhi-based body Directorate of Film Festivals and the Entertainment Society of Goa.

The opening ceremony will feature one of India's most successful filmmakers, Yash Chopra, as the chief guest.

Among this year's highlights, IFFI will pay homage to iconic French filmmaker Eric Rohmer, who passed away this year, screening six of his films. IFFI will also include an expanded film market.

In a departure from years past, IFFI's competition section has now expanded to include entries from all over the world including the U.S. and Europe as earlier, entries were restricted to Asia, Asia Pacific, Africa and Latin America. 

The competition section will include 18 films – 15 foreign and three Indian. The best film will win the Golden Peacock Award and a cash prize of 4 million rupees ($88,000) while the best director will win the Silver Peacock and 1.5 million rupees.

Another first will be a best actor and best actress award in the competition section who will each receive a Silver Peacock award with 1 million rupees.

IFFI will also commemorate the golden jubilee of India's oldest film school, the government-backed Film and Television Institute of India, based in Pune city near Mumbai.

A special screening of India's Oscar entry this year, Peepli Live, is scheduled in the presence of the film's cast and crew. 

Retrospectives of prominent directors will include films by Polish director Jan Jakub Kolski, Jim Jarmusch, Michael Cacoyannis (Zorba The Greek) and Indian director Mira Nair (Amelia).

IFFI's country focus will highlight Sri Lanka, Taiwanese New Wave Cinema and Australian Indigenous Fiction Films.