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Colourful pageant marks beginning of IFFI amid tight security

Written by: Staff
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Panaji, Nov 23 (UNI) A colourful and exciting pageant with highly decorated floats with film, environment, custom and culture based themes drew people including foreign tourists on the ''festival street'' here that marked the inauguration of the 37th edition of the International Film Festival of India this evening.

This was followed by a thrilling display of aerobatic skills by Indian Navy aircrafts as the floats culminated at the Campal Ground adjacent to the IFFI venue.

Rapid Action Force personnel and Central Reserve Police Force jawans with crowd dispersal gear were seen posted along the float parade route. A van carrying RAF personnel was leading the float parade as a precautionary measure.

A huge and richly decorated peacock float led the parade. Then came the ''Sholay'' float with a man imitating legendary character ''Gabbar Singh'' followed by a gang of dacoits wielding rifles and some mounted on horsebacks.

Another float, carrying stills from different films and characters including Amitabh Bachchan with Shashi Kapoor from the film ''Deewar'', followed by a float resembing the the ship ''Titanic'' and another looking like a giant camera were the other attractions.

Traditional Shigmo dances by boys and girls and balles were performed on the streets. Some of the other floats were traditional dances with the Sun as background calling for preservation of environment and ecology and some floats had fruits of Goa like cashew and banana.

The last floats focussed on the theme of preserving marine life.

As the parade and the air show was on, the official dignitries including film personalities, both foreign and Indian, were given a red carpet welcome at the richly decorated Rs two crore jetty built abutting the Kala Academy, the main venue of the festival.

Media personnel had a tough time covering different events as their movements were restricted due to security reasons.

UNI BM PA KN1855

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