Panaji, Nov 20 (IBNS) The 43rd edition of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) kicked-off in Goa's capital Panaji on Tuesday evening with tributes being paid to Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray and legendary director Yash Chopra, who passed away recently.
In his inaugural speech, chief guest Akshay Kumar requested nearly 3000 invitees including VVIPs and VIPs to observe a moment of silence for the legendaries including India's first superstar and his father-in-law Rajesh Khanna, who died in July.
The Bollywood's action king said their contribution to the nation was immense.
Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar also paid tribute to Thackeray in his speech further stating that he prays the Almighty to rest in peace the Shiv Sena chief's soul.
The 11-day festival, inaugurated at ground at Campal will go on till Nov 30. The festival coincides with the celebrations of 100 years of Indian Cinema.
Parrikar, who hosted first IFFI to Goa in 2004, said 'people earlier had doubts about Goa hosting the international event but now they have expectations'.
"The journey started eights years back to position Goa as international destination. I am happy that Goa is awarded best international destination... We are delivering and our endevour is to take the festival at the international level," he said in the presence of Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Manish Tiwari, and others.
The festival opened with Ang Lee's Life of Pi.
(Reporting by John Edwards)