The fifth edition of IIFTC (India International Film Tourism Council) recently held in Mumbai from February 23–25, 2017 at the JW Marriott Hotel, Juhu was a resounding success with participation from over 20 countries and 100 filmmakers from Bollywood and regional film industries.
IIFTC 2017 partnered by Kenya Tourism Board, comprised of three focused business events including a Grand Opening Gala & Awards, All India Round Table Conference and Annual IIFTC Conclave and Locations Market.
According to Harshad Bhagwat, Director, IIFTC, “Living by its motto of ‘Discover Countries, Scout Locations and Establish Connects’, the event witnessed overwhelming response from both tourism and film industry. The power packed event saw the largest ever congregation of international delegations from over 20 countries coming to meet over 50 biggest production house from Bollywood and regional film industries.”
The opening gala event of IIFTC 2017 also marked the launch of IIFTC Tourism Impact Awards and the latest edition of CinePort magazine. The partner country of the convention Kenya Tourism Board felicitated ace Director Imtiaz Ali with the first-ever IIFTC Tourism Impact Award. While on the other hand, IIFTC honoured noted Bollywood Director Vikas Bahl for popularising multiple destinations through his movies. The organisers also recognised efforts of two south Indian production houses, V Creations and First Film Entertainments for their contribution to film tourism.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Mohanjeet Brar, Director, Kenya Tourism Board, said, “Kenya has some outstanding shooting locations waiting to be explored by the Indian filmmakers. We are privileged to be associated with someone of the calibre of Imtiaz Ali and we applaud his achievements to promote tourism through his Cinema.”
Accepting the award, Director Imtiaz Ali said, “This is a very different kind of award for the film industry. I was very happy to know that my movies have increased tourism to some of the countries where I have shot my films.”
Speaking about this new initiative, Bhagwat added, “In our fifth edition, we feel the necessity to extend our canvas and institute an award, which celebrates Indian filmmakers, whose cinema has contributed to the world tourism.”
Some of the countries represented include Portugal, Abu Dhabi, Spain, Sri Lanka, Fiji, Finland, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Jordan, Cyprus, Sweden and South Africa with Kenya being the Partner Country of the convention.
IIFTC 2017 was attended by over 100 filmmakers from Bollywood and regional film industries including Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada and Bengali cinema with some notable names such as Yash Raj Films, Dharma Productions, Excel Entertainment, Red Chillies Entertainment, Salman Khan Films, Arka Mediaworks (Telugu), V Creations (Tamil), Venkatesh Films (Bengali) to name a few.