BRICS Film fest held alongside IFFI for the first time

Ministry of Information & Broadcasting

BRICS Film fest held alongside IFFI for the first time

BRICS film festival getting more visibility inside the framework of IFFI: Thandi Davids, Jury Member

Film competitions important to bring cinema & film professionals under one roof: Nina Kochelyaeva, Jury Member

Posted On:
27 NOV 2021 9:05PM by PIB Mumbai

Panaji, 27 November, 2021

“We are all from different cultures, different backgrounds and different thought processes; coming together on the same page to pick out a best film for this competition unanimously is quite an achievement”, said Rahul Rawail, noted Indian film director, editor and Jury Chairperson of the BRICS Film Festival, at a press conference at the 52nd International Film Festival today in Goa today.

For the first time, the BRICS Film Festival was also held alongside the International Film Festival of India being held in Goa from during 20-28 November, 2021. This is the Sixth edition of the BRICS Film Festival in which a special package of films from the five countries Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa are showcased.

This year, IFFI has brought together five major emerging economies and leading film production countries of the world. The Jury for this competitive festival comprises 5 members, one from each BRICS country. They are Rahul Rawail (Jury Chairperson) (India), Maria Blanche Alcina de Mendonça (Brazil), Thandi Davids (South Africa), Nina Kochelyaeva (Russia) and Hou Keming (China).

The Jury members watched around twenty films and judged the best films in the five categories of awards which shall consist of a certificate and a memento. The categories are best film, best director, best actor (Male), best actor (Female) and Jury mention award.

Rahul Rawail, Thandi Davids and Nina Kochelyaeva attended the press conference held at IFFI 52.

The award ceremony of BRICS Film festival will take place on the closing ceremony on the last day of IFFI 52, i.e. 28th November, 2021.

Thandi Davids, eminent producer from Brazil and Jury member, agreed on that, saying, “It has been an extraordinary cultural journey for all of us, to be exposed to various cultures, to see the diversity of it all. We learned from these films and the voices we heard from.”

Davids said that these kinds of festivals need to grow and become an entity of its own.  “It is important to elevate the films we make and hear and see our voices through our own eye, not through others. Before this, I have never seen a second World War movie from the Russian perspective, so it was very interesting and refreshing.” 

Another Jury member, Nina Kochelyaeva, Senior Researcher and faculty from Russia, said that these was a very good selection of films from each country. Each film represented their own culture, language and meanings.

She informed that in the last edition of BRICS Film Festival, Russians had a special event which was titled “BRICS Cinema’s Alternative to Hollywood”. Kochelyaeva said, “We bring our vision to the world and we try to develop it because film competitions are not only important to bring our cinema into focus, but it will also bring forth professionals together under one roof and make them visible to the world.”

About women filmmakers taking the center stage in these countries, Rawail said, “Though we are people from different cultures, the basic problems are the same. However, the cultures they were emanating from are different. A lot of it was on woman empowerment. I wish there were more initiatives like this to explore women driven films in future too.”  

Davids added, “When we see women filmmakers, we think that she is going to talk about a female based issue. But, there were films that had nothing to do with female at all. The key thing is that these women voices are heard. Though there is not a central theme in all these films, the female gaze is there. It’s not about women issues but how a woman sees the world from her perspective.”

OTT platforms are giving way to a new way of watching films but the joy of watching films on big screens will never end. Corroborating on this, Rawail, who has made films like Love Story and Betaab, said,I don’t think OTTs will replace big screens. OTTs are great to see films from other countries and to see older movies but it is the he filmmaker who will decide if he is making film for big screen or for a confined space.”

Davids said that it was very interesting to be in IFFI 52 as BRICS and IFFI is coming together for the first time. It is giving the BRICS film festival more visibility in the framework of IFFI. She hoped the audience will also get to experience these movies and experience various culture of other countries.  



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13th BRICS Summit

As part of India’s ongoing Chairship of BRICS in 2021, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will chair the 13th BRICS Summit on 9 September 2021 in virtual format. The meeting will be attended by the President of Brazil, H.E. Mr. Jair Bolsonaro; President of Russia, H.E. Mr. Vladimir Putin; President of China, H.E. Mr. Xi Jinping; and President of South Africa, H.E. Mr. Cyril Ramaphosa. India’s National Security Adviser, Shri AjitDoval, President of the New Development Bank, Mr. Marcos Troyjo, the pro tempore Chair of the BRICS Business Council, Shri Onkar Kanwar and pro tempore Chair of the BRICS Women’s Business Alliance, Dr. Sangita Reddy, will present reports on the outcomes pursued this year under their respective tracks to the Leaders during the Summit.

The theme for the Summit is ‘BRICS@15: Intra-BRICS cooperation for continuity, consolidation and consensus’. India had outlined four priority areas for its Chairship. These are Reform of the Multilateral System, Counter Terrorism, Using Digital and Technological Tools for achieving SDGs and Enhancing People to People exchanges. In addition to these areas, the leaders will also exchange views on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and other current global and regional issues.

This is the second time Prime Minister Modi will be chairing the BRICS Summit. Earlier he had chaired the Goa Summit in 2016. The Indian Chairship of BRICS this year coincides with the fifteenth anniversary of BRICS, as reflected in the theme for the Summit.



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Scientists from four BRICS countries to carry out genomic sequencing and mathematical modelling of the COVID-19 pandemic

Indian Scientists, in partnership with Scientists from China, Russia and Brazil, will carry out genomic sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 and studies on the epidemiology and mathematical modelling of the COVID-19 pandemic. This will help trace genetic mutations, recombinations as well as distribution of the virus and also make projections about the future of its spread. 

A whole-genome sequencing is required for identification of genetic mutations and recombinations of the virus, while epidemiological studies can help assess its distribution. Mathematical modelling is required to assess its future spread.

Keeping this in mind, a research plan has been made by including expertise of scientists and engineers from diverse backgrounds. A consortium consisting of Dr Ch Sasikala, Professor, Centre for Environment, Institute of Science and Technology, Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University Hyderabad, Yuhua Xin, Professorate Senior Engineer Institute of Microbiology, Chinese  Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China, Ivan Sobolev,   Senior Researcher, Federal Research Center of Fundamental and Translational Medicine, Timakova, Russia, Dr Marilda Mendonça Siqueira, Respiratory Viruses and Measles Laboratory, Oswaldo Cruz Institute, Fiocruz., Rio de Janeiro, Brazil will carry out different arms of this BRICS-Multilateral Research and Development Project.

Under this research supported by the Department of Science and Technology, India and Brazil sides will assess distribution of SARS-CoV-2 in environmental samples through metagenome analysis for wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) surveillance. Chinese and Russian scientists will carry out the Real-Time PCR detection of SARS-CoV-2 in biological material (nasopharyngeal swabs) from patients with symptoms of respiratory diseases and investigate the genomic variability, comparative genomics and phylogenetic analysis.

The genomic, metagenomic and epidemiological data from India, China, Russia and Brazil will be integrated to develop mathematical models for mutations analysis, population genetics, phylogenetic relationship, recombination analysis and risk evaluation to reveal spread network and dynamics of the virus. This can help trace spread routes and dynamics of the virus. The database developed by the different groups will also compare the distribution and survival of the virus in the different regions and establish the surveillance of the relevant early warning system.

The collaborative research plan has been developed considering the strengths of international collaborators from the Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences of China, Federal Research Centre of Fundamental and Translational Medicine of Russia and Respiratory Virus and Measles Laboratory, Oswaldo Cruz Institute of Brazil. The study will provide a common platform to share and analyse the data of four different countries and understand the spread routes and transmission dynamics of virus.

For further details, Dr Ch Sasikala (; can be contacted.

To know more about BRICS STI Framework Programme, visit (



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Meeting of the BRICS Contact Group on Economic and Trade issues (CGETI) held on 12-14 July 2021, chaired by India

For the year 2021, India is the Chair of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China & South Africa). Of the various groups of BRICS, theContact Group on Economic and Trade Issues (CGETI) is responsible for economic and trade matters. The Department of Commerce is the national coordinator for the BRICS CGETI.

Meeting of the CGETI was held from 12-14 July 2021.During the three daymeeting, the BRICS Members deliberated on the following proposalscirculated by India, for strengthening and increasing the Intra-BRICS cooperation and trade:

  • BRICS Cooperation on Multilateral Trading System;
  • BRICS Framework for ensuring Consumer Protection in E-Commerce;
  • Non-Tariff Measures (NTM) Resolution Mechanism for SPS/TBT Measures;
  • Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Working Mechanism;
  • Cooperation framework for protection of Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Traditional Cultural Expressions;
  • BRICS Framework on Cooperation in Professional Services.

BRICS Members agreed to take forward India’s proposals to finalise them before the BRICS Trade Minister’s meeting to be held on 3 September 2021, to be chaired by Shri Piyush Goyal, the Commerce and Industry Minister. 

To deepen and strengthen the trade and economy, following events proposed by India were also agreed by the BRICS Members:

  1. A BRICS Trade Fair to showcase and to have buyer and sellers virtual meet from 16-18 August 2021, to be organised by the Department of Commerce;
  2. A roundtable of BRICS MSMEs on 22 July 2021 to be organised by the Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises;
  3. Two workshops on Services Trade Statistics to be held on 16 July 2021 and 13 August 2021, to be organised by the Reserve Bank of India.



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BRICS countries underline importance of enhancing collaboration among astronomers

Delegates from BRICS nations highlighted the importance of enhancing collaboration among astronomers from the countries at the seventh meeting of the BRICS Astronomy Working Group Meeting.

Under the Science, Technology, and Innovation track of the BRICS 2021 calendar, India hosted the seventh meeting of BRICS Astronomy Working Group (BAWG) meeting of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, as well as astronomers from these countries in online mode from 19 to 20th May 2021.

From the Indian side, the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA), Pune, and Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India coordinated the meeting. It witnessed participation of all five BRICS countries with more than 50 participants, including researchers, academicians, and government officials.

The delegates deliberated on strategic and operational matters and recommended the networking of existing Telescopes in BRICS countries and create regional Data Network. They agreed to develop flagship project in this area. The members of the working group also indicated future directions of research in this area such as building network of intelligent telescope and data network, study of transient astronomical phenomena in universe, big data, artificial intelligence, machine learning application to process the voluminous data generated now a days due to enhance multi-wavelength telescope observatory.

The BAWG which provides a platform for BRICS member countries to collaborate in the field of astronomy recommended that the focal points in each country should present the scientific results of the work being carried out in each country.  This will help seek funding support to realize the flagship project whenever funding opportunity announced by BRICS funding agencies. BAWG noted the importance of enhancing collaboration among astronomers from the BRICS countries.

Shri S. K. Varshney, Scientist G & Head international Cooperation presented India (DST) perspectives and lead scientific researchers from each BRICS country presented their country report highlighting research activities and research infrastructure they have created.

The key scientific institutions which participated from BRICS countries included Tata Institute of Fundamental Research Mumbai, Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bangalore, National Center for Radio Astrophysics Pune, Delhi University from India; National Laboratory on Astrophysics;  Brazilian Center for Research in Physics, National Institute for Space Research from Brazil; the Institute of astronomy of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia; National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China; the African Astronomical Society, South Africa.

India has assumed the BRICS Presidency from January 2021, about 100 events, including Ministerial level meetings, Senior Official meetings, and sectorial meetings/conferences, will be organized as part of BRICS 2021 Calendar.

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