Panaji, Nov 19: With a richer palate of world cinema, a list of celebrated guests and a promise to weave in new age technology for enhanced outreach, the 46th International Film Festival of India, the country’s largest state-sponsored film event, will get underway here on Friday.

Apart from being a showcase for 187 films from 89 countries, 26 of which are official Academy Award entries, a rare Sanskrit film will open the 26-film strong Indian Panorama section. There will be a fresh section for new world directors, food festivals, cinema on mobile trailers and public screenings. The festival plans to catch up on technology, said Ira Joshi, additional director general of the Press Information Bureau.

A whole range of innovations are being implemented to increase the reach of the mega event, Joshi said. “We have a dedicated YouTube channel which will screen festival events, including the opening and closing ceremonies. Celebrities who address the media will also be posed questions based on queries we get on Twitter from media as well as film critics,” Joshi said, adding that new media technology would be used to conduct talkathons with celebrities and guests attending IFFI.

“In order to enhance the viewership of the much sought after Master-Classes at IFFI, they too will be streamed live,” Joshi said. Master-Classes are conducted by cinema greats at the IFFI venue on various aspects of cinema and mostly run to a packed house. (ALSO READ: Salman Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, A R Rahman to grace Mulayam Singh Yadav birthday celebration)

A large chunk of the films screened at the festival will also be available on a specially designated cloud, from where delegates can download and play the film on a WiFi network within the festival campus.

The 11-day festival will open with “The Man Who Knew Infinity”, directed by Mathew Brown. It’s a film on the 1913 self-taught Indian mathematical genius Ramanujan and his friendship with G.H. Hardy who helped reveal the genius to the world.

The festival will be brought to a close by A R Rahman on November 30. More than 7,000 delegates from 38 countries, mostly from India, have registered for the festival which will also be accompanied by the ninth edition of the Film Bazaar, a networking event aimed at facilitating collaboration in the realm of production and distribution.

Anil Kapoor will be the chief guest at the opening ceremony and music maestro Rahman will be the chief guest at the closing ceremony of the event.

Argentina’s Oscar entry and this year’s biggest Argentinean box office hit, “El Clan” (The Clan) will be the closing film of the festival, while Academy Award winner director Tom Hooper’s film “The Danish Girl” will be the gala’s mid-fest film. Movies from the Kingdom of Spain will feature in the Focus Country segment.

“This time round, IFFI 2015 in collaboration with the International Council for Film, Television and Audiovisual Communication (ICFT), Paris, and UNESCO will present the ‘ICFT- UNESCO Fellini Prize’ to a film, which best reflects the ideals of peace, tolerance, love, harmony and friendship,” festival director C. Senthil Rajan said.

In order to recognise and build a lasting relationship with young talent from world cinema, a new section, ‘First Cut’, will showcase some of the outstanding works of debutant directors of 2015, Rajan said.

This edition of the festival will also feature a special retrospective on Israeli filmmaker Amos Gitai, while a special tribute will be paid to noted Danish-French actress, director and screenwriter Anna Karina.

IFFI this time will also screen films, including blockbuster film “Baahubali”, on mobile trucks throughout Goa’s hinterland, which according to the chief executive officer of the Entertainment Society of Goa (ESG), Ameya Abhyankar, will “take the spirit of cinema to the Goa’s rurales”. By Mayabhushan Nagvenkar