Pune International Film Festival to be held from March 4 to 11

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The rich bonanza from across the globe is dedicated to COVID-19 frontline warriors.

Owing to the COVID -19 situation, the Pune International Film Festival (PIFF) — Maharashtra’s official film festival — will be held from March 4 to 11 instead of commencing traditionally in January.

While cineastes can head to theatres to catch a rich bonanza from across the globe, it will also be available in the online format, said Festival Director and eminent filmmaker Dr. Jabbar Patel. He said all safety guidelines will be strictly adhered to.

“Given that 2020 was a year of uncertainty, fear and struggle, we are fortunately entering 2021 with great hope as the efforts of COVID-19 frontline warriors are finally paying off given the reduction in new cases. The pandemic appears to be coming under control, with the vaccination campaign in earnest and a semblance of normalcy. The PIFF 2021 is dedicated to the frontline warriors who have and still are heroically battling the pandemic,” said Dr. Patel.

He said while Deputy Chief Minister and Finance Minister Ajit Pawar had announced a ₹4-crore grant in the last budget session, the organisers had requested the State government to allot at least ₹2.5 crore for the festival this year considering the economic slump.

The postponement of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) automatically led to the PIFF being pushed back by a couple of months, said organisers.

“To ensure greater safety and security for viewers, films in the PIFF package will be made available online. This year, we have received 1,611 entries from 93 countries of which 180 films have been chosen by the selection committee to be presented under various sections,” said Dr. Patel.

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