Madhuri Dixit, the renowned Bollywood actress, was bestowed with the prestigious “Special Recognition for Contribution to Bharatiya Cinema” award at the 54th International Film Festival of India (IFFI). Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur lauded Dixit’s exceptional talent, hailing her as an “icon across the ages.”
In a heartfelt message on social media, Thakur commended Dixit’s remarkable journey, spanning four decades of unparalleled artistry. He praised her versatility, citing her iconic roles as Nisha, Chandramukhi, Begum Para, and Rajjo, each a testament to her captivating screen presence.
The 54th IFFI marked the grand return of the festival to Goa, kicking off with a star-studded opening ceremony at the Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Indoor Stadium on November 20th. The event welcomed a galaxy of prominent figures from the Indian film industry, including Vijay Sethupathi, Sara Ali Khan, Pankaj Tripathi, Sunny Deol, Karan Johar, Shantanu Moitra, Shreya Ghoshal, and Sukhwinder Singh.
Acclaimed British filmmaker Stuart Gatt’s thriller “Catching Dust” was selected as the opening film of the 9-day gala, while French Director Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s “About Dry Grasses” and Robert Kolodny’s “The Featherweight” served as the Mid fest and closing films, respectively.
In a significant move, IFFI introduced a new award category for the best web series (OTT) this year. Filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani was appointed as the head of the five-member jury for this inaugural category, joined by Divya Dutta, Prosenjit Chatterjee, and filmmakers Krishna DK and Utpal Borpujari. A total of 32 entries across 10 languages from 15 OTT platforms were shortlisted for this prestigious award.
Commenting on the introduction of the OTT awards, Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur acknowledged the phenomenal growth of the OTT industry in India, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. He highlighted the substantial employment opportunities created by the Indian OTT sector, which has witnessed an impressive annual growth rate of 28%. The establishment of the OTT awards reflects the Ministry’s commitment to recognizing and celebrating the outstanding content creators driving this dynamic industry.