Photojournalists attending the opening ceremony of the 52nd International Film Festival of India in Panaji, Goa, staged a protest outside the venue by laying their cameras on the pavement after organisers told them that the broadcast rights had been sold to a private channel and they would not be let in.
"Congress party condemns the act of selling broadcasting rights to a crony company and denying entry to Goan photo journalists to the opening ceremony of IFFI. It is a shame on chief minister Pramod Sawant that the local photo journalists had to protest against the pro-capitalist decision of BJP government," leader of opposition Digambar Kamat said on the issue, as quoted by the Times of India.
Delegates attending the ceremony were also allegedly forced to wait one and a half hours before the ceremony began as they were let in much earlier than expected. Several delegates complained about this matter and told mediapersons that it was inappropriate of the organisers to make so many people crowd into a single venue during the Covid-19 pandemic. Heavy rain and lack of parking also made things difficult for attendees.
The IFFI this year paid tribute to many personalities that passed away, including Buddhadeb Das Gupta, Dilip Kumar, Malayali actor Nedumudi Venu, Puneeth Rajkumar, Sanchari Vijay, Sumitra Bhave, Surekha Sikri, and Waman Bhonsle.
Hollywood director Martin Scorsese and Hungarian director Istvan Szabo with the Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement Award, for which Scorsese thanked the jury and organisers in an acceptance video, saying that he considered Ray one of his idols. Former actor and BJP MP from Mathura, Hema Malini, received the Indian Film Personality of the Year Award for 2021.
The film festival is slated to run for 8 more days, and will showcase 300 films from across the globe. It will feature 148 films from about 73 countries in the International Section with about 12 world premieres, around seven international premieres, 26 Asia premieres and about 64 India premieres.