Red carpet welcome awaits BIG B, Asha

Minister of Cultural Affairs kicks off PIFF today; fest to confer awards on legendary artistes for their outstanding contribution to Indian cinema

The organisers of the Pune International Film Festival (PIFF) are all set to give a 'red carpet welcome to actor Amitabh Bachchan and playback singer Asha Bhosale at City Pride Multiplex theatre in the city yesterday.
The legendary artistes will be conferred with the PIFF Award for their outstanding contribution to the Indian cinema today. 

Actor-director Sachin Pilgaonkar will be felicitated for completing his 50-years in the film industry and Illaiyaaraja will be honoured for his musical creation to regional and Hindi cinema at the event. Minister of cultural affairs Sanjay Deotale will inaugurate the ceremony. Ambassador of Iceland Gudmundur Eiriksson and actress Rani Mukharjee, both guests of honour, will grace the occasion.

Dr Jabbar Patel, Director, PIFF, has said the felicitation ceremony would grand show, a treat for movie buffs. "We want to make it a historic show," he said.

Live projections
Though the main function is scheduled at Screen No 1 at City Pride, Kothrud, a live projection will be made from two other screens (Screen No 2 and 4) in the theatre. "Screen No 1 has a seating capacity of 525, whereas the other two screens can accommodate 375 and 207 spectators, respectively. In all, around 1,100 people will be able to see the live show," said Pushkar Chaphalkar, partner of the Multiplex Theatre, which is being used for PIFF shows for the past several years.

Bachchan will be visiting the theatre for the second time today. As a producer of award winning Marathi film, 'Vihir', the actor was present to promote the film two years ago. "We are making elaborate security arrangements in the theatre for the actor and other luminaries," said Chaphalkar.

Four venue changes 
In the past 10 years, the organisers have changed venue of the fest four times. When the PIFF started in 2003, it was inaugurated in an open ground opposite Inox Multiplex Theatre near Pune Railway Station. Over 1,500 deligates had attended the program. The venue was later shifted to PMC's Ganesh Kala Krida Manch, near Swargate which has a seating capacity of 2,700. Balgandharv Rangmandir also hosted a PIFF inauguration ceremony where 1,000 spectators could enjoy the show. 

EC nod for fest
To avoid any controversy, Sanjay Deotale, the minister of cultural affairs, had taken the permission of state election commission to attend the inaugural PIFF show. "PIFF is State Government's official festival for international cinema and therefore he could get the permission to attend the show," said senior official from Congress Party, Pune. 

Inaugural screening
'Top Floor Left Wing', directed by Angelo Cianci from France, will be the inaugural film of the fest. 

PIFF awardees' list over the years

Dev Anand

Lata Mangeshkar

Dilip Kumar

Sharmila Tagore

The PIFF award has been conferred on following artistes in the past nine years: Mrunal Sen, Waheeda Rehman, Shakti Samanta, Yash Chopra, Dharmendra, Vyajayantimala, Shammi Kapoor, Shashi Kapoor, Shashikala, Saira Banoo, Sulochana, Hema Malini, Dr Shriram Lagoo and Rajesh Khanna.  

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