CIFFI2020 begins with a cinematic blast as collaboration of DME India and Deakin Australia enters second year

Noida: CIFFI 2020 – World’s First 7-Day Hybrid International Film Festival by educational institutions was inaugurated on December 15 amidst the galaxy of media and entertainment professionals and academic stalwarts. This seven-day mega-event is being organised by DME Media School of Delhi Metropolitan Education, Noida, India in association with School of Communications and Creative Arts, Deakin University, Australia in Hybrid mode.

The first day of the film festival witnessed words of encouragement from eminent scholars and filmmakers during the Inaugural session. A curated session and a panel discussion was also organised on the inaugural day. Films received for the film festival were also screened online in two segments at the official website of CIFFI 2020.

Mr Aman Sahni, Vice Chairman, DME and Patron, CIFFI 2020, expressed his delight over the film festival. “I am excited to be a part of the festival. This is a great opportunity to learn”, he said. “It is the second edition of CIFFI in association with Deakin University and we would like do more events together in future”, he added.

Dr Ambrish Saxena, Festival Director and Dean DME Media School, Noida, talked about the germination of idea of conducting such a film festival and translating the idea into reality. He expressed his contentment on the performance of the CIFFI-2020 team. “I am delighted by the support and participation received”, he added.

Dr Vikrant Kishore, Festival Director and Course Director-Film, Television & Animation, School of Communication and Creative Arts, Deakin University, Melbourne expressed his pleasure regarding the collaboration with DME and mentioned the importance of this film festival for students of both the educational institutions.

Dr Susmita Bala, Festival Associate Director and Head, DME Media School, appreciated the participation received and urged students to get involved so as to gain the maximum from this mega festival.

Peter Dietze, a creative director with Turner & amp, Melbourne, Australia expressed his excitement over the involvement with CIFFI 2020. “I look forward to talk about Bollywood in CIFFI-2020”, he said.

Dr Simon Wilmot, Associate Head of School, International & Partnerships, School of Communication and Creative Arts, Deakin University, Melbourne talked about the gravity of online communication. He said, “We built barriers and walls around us during the pandemic which we overcame with the help of technology.”

Dr Sian Mitchell, School of Communication and Creative Arts, Deakin University, Melbourne, expressed her best wishes for the film festival. “I appreciate the efforts put by the team of CIFFI to conduct the film festival in such a challenging time.”

Prof. KG Suresh, Vice Chancellor, Makhanlal Chaturvedi National University of Journalism and Communication, Bhopal, talked about the importance of filmmaking. “Cinema has inspired people to do great things in life. Cinema will always remain relevant”, he said.

Prof. Ujjwal Chowdhury, Pro Vice Chancellor and Dean, School of Media, Communication & Fashion, Adamas University, Kolkata, explained the change in Cinema in the new digital era with the help of a presentation. Talking about CIFFI 2020, he said, “This film festival is a blend of digital and physical.”

Dr P N Vasanti, Director General, CMS, appreciated the efforts behind conducting the film festival. Speaking on the role of cinema in spreading awareness, she added, “During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have realised how sensitive our relation with the environment is.”

Dr Gauri D Chakraborty, Joint Acting Head, Amity School of Communication, Amity University, Noida, mentioned that the shift to digital cinema has benefitted society in many ways. She said, “The OTT space has helped see the rationale.”

Dr Ravikant Swami, Director, DME, spoke about the blurring lines of real world and reel world at present times. “With COVID, there has been convergence of the physical world and the digital one.”

Dr Nakul Parashar, Director, Vigyan Prasar, Government of India, underlined the relationship of science and cinema while stating, “Science has become people friendly with the help of motion pictures.”

The inaugural session was enriched by the motivating notes of Dr Sanjay Ranade, Head of Research Centre, Department of Communication and Journalism, University of Mumbai, Mr Aditya Seth, film director and documentary film maker, Prof. Phillip McIntyre, Professor of Communication and Media at University of Newcastle and Mr Praveen Nagda, Festival Director at KidzCINEMA2020.

Mr Amitabh Srivastava, President of New Delhi Film Foundation (NDFF) and Mr Ashish Kumar Singh, Secretary, NDFF, presented their encouraging notes. Mr Kanwar Deepak Gulati, theatre and film practitioner, writer, actor and director, New Delhi and Mr Ashok Purang, theatre and film personality, Mumbai.

The presence of Mr Muzamil Bhawani, celebrated actor of Bollywood, was a delight for the audience. Mr Muzamil shared his experience of acting in films which everybody relished.

Curated Session on Bombay Talkies.

The Curated Session delivered an informative exchange on the topic ‘The Bombay Talkies and the Australia India Connection’. The session was curated by Dr Vikrant Kishore while Mr Peter Dietze, grandson of the pioneer of Indian Cinema Himanshu Rai, talked at length about his efforts of preserving the legacy of Rai. The session also included special videocast of two films – ‘Shiraz’ and ‘A Throw of Dice’. Ms Yashasvika Yadav, Assistant Professor, DME Media School, was moderator for this session.

Students’ panel on filmmaking

An intense Panel Discussion on the topic, ‘Ease in filmmaking in the digital era and the issue of quality: A discussion in the backdrop of COVID- 19’ was conducted by the students of DME Media School. It was moderated by Priyanka Naithani, final year student while the student panelists included Siddharth Kukreja, Shubham Mandal, Mohsin Alqab, Shriya Singh and Ashray Mathur.


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