Panaji, Nov 22 (UNI) Unlike in the past, the current 38th edition of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) provides a ''bigger platform'' for the regional cinema than for the Hindi films.
''Yes, it was done so not because of the vociferous outcry of the regional industry but perhaps because of the standards they had reached over the years,'' avers Ms Neelima Kapoor, Chief of the Directorate of Film Festivals(DFF), organising the show in Goa.
For the first time, the 11-day megashow, beginning here tomorrow with Bollywood heart-throb Shahrukh Khan lighting the lamp, would feature a Manipuri film ''Yenning Amadi Likla'' directed by Nakhonmani Mangsaba, after a 11 year gap, she told UNI.
Of the 21 feature films under the Indian Panorama, there are only two Hindi films - Dharm and Gafla. Five of them are Malayali, four Marathi, three each of Bengali and Kannada, two Tamil, and one each of Assami and Manipuri films.
The 15 non-feature films comprise one each of Bengali, Manipuri, Marathi, three Malayalam, four English and five Hindi. The dominance of regional films could also be seen with the internationally acclaimed film maker Adoor Gopalkrishnan adorning the ''Master Class'' and observance of the birth centinary of doyen of Tamil films T R Sundaram, veteran actress Devika Rani hailing from Visakhapatam and top Rajasthani folk musician Khemchand Prakash.
Screening of three Kannada films - Samskara, Chomana Dudi and Gnata Shradha- that contributed to the Navya Movement in Kannada cinema, Manipuri film ''Ishanou'' to pay tributes to the veteran artiste Aribam Syam Sharma also highlights the significance of the regional cinema this year.
Conspicuously, the Telugu cinema which contributed a lot to the industry over the years, besides shooting scores of films every year with mega stars and heavy starcast, was conspicuous by its absence in this year's schedule in the film festival.
Interestingly, in the competition section, Shoaib Mansoor's Pakistani film '' Khuda Ke Liye (In the name of God) in Urdu will be screened for the first time in the festival. It was the story of how Pakistanis in particular and Muslims in general were caught up since 9/11 episode of the US.