From 1952 Till Present, The Journey Of International Film Festival Of India (IFFI) At A Glance

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What started in 1952, with participation of 23 countries and with over 200 films’ entries has quadrupled to a whopping 1000 entries from over 100 countries across the world.

By Chiranjib Bordoloye | 1st September, 2020

The International Film Festival of India (IFFI) is a major event that showcases the best of cinema from across the world, while also witnessing participation from plethora of cinema lovers.

Along with film screenings, discussions and numerous other events take place in the week-long annual event celebrating cinema.

The festival is jointly conducted by the Directorate of Film Festivals (under Ministry of Information and Broadcasting) and the Government of Goa. And like previous years, the 51st edition of the festival is slated to take place between 20th November to 28th November, 2020.

Let us learn more about the event.


The 1st edition of IFFI was organised by the Films Division, Government of India and was held in Mumbai from 24 January to 1st February, 1952 under the patronage of Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.

The 1st edition was non-competitive, had 23 countries including the United States participating with 40 feature films and about a hundred short films. It is noteworthy that legendary American director Frank Capra attended the 1st edition as a part of the US delegation.

The 1st edition showcased 40 feature films and about 100 short films. The festival was subsequently taken to the cities of then Madras, Calcutta and Delhi in the next few years.

The 3rd edition of the festival was chaired by Satyajit Ray. For the first time the festival became competitive, and was graded ‘A’ category by the Paris based Federation International de Producers de Films. With this recognition the festival in India came on par with Cannes, Berlin, Venice, Karlovy Vary and Moscow International film festivals.

Since 2004, starting from the 35th edition, IFFI became globally competitive and moved to its permanent venue Goa and is being held during the months of November and December of each year.

What started in 1952, with participation of 23 countries and with over 200 films’ entries has quadrupled to a whopping 1000 entries from over 100 countries across the world.

This reiterates IFFI’s stature as one of the marquee film festivals across the world.

IFFI Awards:

Golden Peacock Award: The ‘Best Film’ is awarded the Golden Peacock Award. It includes a cash prize worth Rs 40 lakh, a trophy and a citation.

Silver Peacock Award: The Silver Peacock Award is given to the ‘Best Director’, ‘Best Actor (Male)’ and ‘Best Actor (Female)’.

The ‘Best Director’ award carries a Silver Peacock trophy, a citation and a cash prize worth Rs 15 lakh.  

The latter awards carry a silver peacock trophy, certificate and a cash prize worth Rs 10 lakh each.

IFFI 2020:

This year IFFI 2020 will be organised amid the COVID-19 pandemic. With social distancing being the norm, the organisers face a challenge to ensure that the festival remains vibrant and safe at the same time. Hence this year the popular festival will be organised in full compliance with social distancing protocols and other safety measures. Submissions for entries in both competitive and non-competitive categories are currently underway.

Also this year IFFI has been reduced to 9 days in contrast to the 11 day siesta in 2015. The lesser number of festival hours will be compensated with lesser repeat screenings and restrict this option only for films that prove to be extremely popular with delegates.

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