With a culturally diverse and illustrious jury, International Film Festival of India, 2017 has been playing out on a grand global scale. Assigned as the Jury Chairman of IFFI, National Award-winning Indian filmmaker, Muzaffar Ali, who has been associated with the festival for a long time, began the press conference by acknowledging that IFFI has grown in content, size, quality and participation this year. Talking about his experience this year, the filmmaker said, "We are looking to a great quantum leap in this realm of festivals which showcase world cinema. For it was a very big experience to work with such distinguished jury members. It was like a big orchestra coming together and each one of us shared moments of our lives through these films we've seen. It was a very cinematic experience."Associated with the prestigious, Asia Pacific Screen Awards, Maxine Williamson, the only woman the jury, while sharing her experience said, "It's really a privilege to be at IFFI. I have been following this festival strongly for the last ten years. We (as a jury) had a wonderful time and journey.
The films were strong. I was really happy to see regional cinema in the competition. A strong competition it is and so it's difficult for us to come to a decision."Academy Award-winning production designer, Roger Christian lent his insight on the importance of festivals, as he said, "I do a lot of festivals. I do as many as I can because with the demise in the world of independent cinema, it's very hard for any filmmaker especially new ones to get their films shown. The only place is a festival now. A festival exposes it. Like an echo, the word of mouth goes out and it gets picked up." Multiple award-winning Russian cinematographer, Vladislav Opelyants said, "Thank you for inviting me. It was a great experience. My English is not very good but we are talking in a cinematographer's language. That language is only of emotions. Thank you India, I'm glad to be here."Acclaimed Israeli actor and director, Tzahi Grad talked about getting to know other cultures through the festival. On being asked about judging films that belong to different cultures the filmmaker said, "First of all we look at it as cinema first. How it affects you. It's easy to feel it. Many films had several ideas that managed to switch our opinions."The 48th edition of IFFI is being held from the 20th to 28th of November, 2017, in the beach state of Goa.