Veteran actress Waheeda Rehman inaugurates 40th International Film Festival of India

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Panaji, Nov 24 (ANI): Veteran Bollywood actress Waheeda Rehman inaugurated the 40th edition of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) by lighting the lamp at a glittering function here on Monday.

Information and Broadcasting MInister, Ambika Soni and Goa Chief Minsiter Digambar Kamat were also present on the occasion.

Often referred to as the 'India's Cannes' for its mix of world and Indian cinema, the IFFI-2009 will offer nearly 300 films over ten days.

The IFFI will also roll out a special segment 'Golden Jubilee in Indian Cinema' where yesteryear actors like Sharmila Tagore, Asha Parekh and Soumitro Chatterjee will be honoured with a screening of three films of each.

Speaking on the occasion, Ambika Soni said she is film buff and also urged everyone to relish the bouquet of films offered at the fest.

"The IFFI, has been greatly contributing towards enriching this industry, so as to showcase the modern and aesthetic and acknowledge you and provide an opportunity where filmmakers and film lovers can come together and share in the celebration of a medium that has now become an inclusive part of our daily lives. The primary objective of our film festival is to showcase outstanding films from around the world to the discerning viewers," Soni added.

India has looked to build a film festival along the lines of Cannes, turning to Goa to provide a picturesque backdrop to a celebration of cinema.

But the festival has been criticised in the past for ignoring regional language films from across the country.

Bollywood forms a part of the Indian section in the festival, where popular films such as Dev.D and Oye Lucky Lucky Oye, will also be screened. (ANI)

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