The first edition of the International Film Festival of India was supported by the Government of India and the country’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. It was the first international film festival in the Asian region. The inaugural edition of IFFI took place in Mumbai from January 24 to February 1, 1952. It screened about 40 feature films and 100 shorts from 23 countries, including Japan, the United Kingdom, the USA, and the Soviet Union. The festival was attended by an international delegation that included renowned Italian-American filmmaker and film producer Frank Capra.
The first several editions of IFFI were non-competitive. The international competition was inaugurated in 1965. For a long time, the festival was held irregularly and moved several times. In 2004, it moved to the state of Goa where it has been held ever since and became annual (to be accredited by FIAPF as a competitive feature film festival, a festival must be held annually). Since then, the festival has been co-organized by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting of India and the Government of Goa.
The main award of IFFI’s International Competition is the Golden Peacock Award. It is awarded by the festival’s international jury to the best film. Countries whose films have become laureates include Sri Lanka, India, Iran, France, Bangladesh, Mexico, Kazakhstan, Russia, Georgia, Colombia, Argentina, Philippines, and East Timor.
The Silver Peacock Awards are given in the following categories: Best Director, Best Actor (Male), Best Actor (Female), and the Special Jury Award. There are also special awards such as the Lifetime Achievement Award, the Centenary Award, and the Centenary Award for Indian Film Personality of the Year.