Rajinikanth is the Icon of Golden Jubilee at IFFI Goa
The 50th edition of IFFI Goa kickstarted today on a good note with Superstar Rajinikanth stealing the show
On a night when French actor Isabelle Huppert won a Lifetime Achievement Award and Amitabh Bachchan’s very presence drew loud cheers, the loudest appreciation at Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Indoor Stadium in Goa was reserved for a Tamil actor, Superstar Rajinikanth, who was given the Icon of Golden Jubilee Award on the 50th edition of IFFI, Goa.
Notably, this is the first time this award is being handed out at IFFI. On a fairly understated evening in which Shankar Mahadevan drew gasps of admiration with his super-fast rendition of his famous track, Breathless, it was the occasional mention of Rajinikanth and Amitabh Bachchan in the speeches of government dignitaries that served to heighten excitement. Naturally, the award was handed out towards the end of the two-and-a-half hour inauguration ceremony of this year’s IFFI that happened earlier today.
After it was announced that Rajinikanth had won the Icon of Golden Jubilee Award and he was beckoned on stage, the line ‘Singam single-a thaan varum’ from Sivaji echoed in the stadium, leading to loud cheers. Rajinikanth himself didn’t seem in the mood to talk too much, as was evident earlier when he breezed past the red carpet presenters who were eager for a byte from the Superstar. “I am happy to receive this award. My heartfelt thanks to the Indian government,” he began. “I dedicate this award to all my producers, directors and technicians…” It took one of his famous oft-repeated lines to widen the smiles again. “Enna vaazhavaiththa dheivangalaana Thamizh makkalukku,” he said.
The rapturous applause was repeated again when Amitabh Bachchan was felicitated for his presence. He too thanked fans for all the love they continue to give him, and went on to speak about Rajinikanth, calling him his ‘good friend’. “He and I constantly give each other a lot of advice. Neither of us follow the advice we are given though,” he said, laughing. “He’s such a humble human… came from humble beginnings. It’s incredible we have him here with us, inspiring us every day.”
IFFI Goa begins today, and will see more than 200 films from as many as 76 countries being screened at various venues in the State over the next week. In the words of Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, “With this festival, we hope to bridge the gap between the Indian and the international film industry.”