Saif Ali Khan guest of honour at IFFI closing ceremony

Panaji: Actor Saif Ali Khan will add some Bollywood glamour as the guest of honour at the closing ceremony of International Film Festival of India (IFFI) on December 2 along with Arjan Bajwa and Neetu Chandra.

Bollywood stars generally keep themselves away from the festival, which is auteur driven, but the festival has been trying to change it. Actor Ajay Devgn was the guest of honour at the IFFI opening ceremony on November 22.

French auteur Bertrand Tavernier`s `The Princess of Montpensier`, a riveting 16th century costume drama about love and religious conflict will be the festival`s closing film.

Starring Melanie Thierry and Gaspard Ullie, the film is Tavernier`s 21st and has competed for the Palme d`Or at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival.

"The Princess of Montpensier is the closing film of the festival. It is a French film. We have invited Saif Ali Khan, a National as well as Padma award winning actor as the guest of honour for the closing ceremony. Actress Neetu Chandra and Arjan Bajwa will also be there," festival director SM Khan told reporters here.

"We also have a cultural event curated by Gracy Singh followed by the closing film," he added.

However, the main attraction this year is `Slumdog Millionaire` beauty Freida Pinto, who is coming to IFFI to attend the screening of Woody Allen`s latest comedy `You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger` tomorrow.

Pinto plays a major role in the movie, which also stars Hollywood biggies like Anthony Hopkins, Josh Brolin and Naomi Watts.

Khan said that the festival will also see a master class on acting by `3 Idiots` star Boman Irani. When asked about the infrastructure improvement at IFFI, which has seen several organisational glitches, Khan said they are trying to bring in new improvements every year.

"We had made a committee for the improvement of the festival and have already incorporated some of the short term changes suggested by them. The festival has been opened to world cinema, we have increased the money and introduced two new awards. All this is being done but the long term suggestions are still under the consideration of ministry," Khan said.

He said that the proposed suggestions include that the festival should have a new structure with the involvement of public and private partnership. The funds will come from the Central and Goa governments and sponsorship will also be introduced.


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