The film fest started with a minute's silence for the veteran actor who died aged 79. "I would like to thank everyone involved in bringing this festival to its sixth edition. Before we inaugurate this festival, we just got the news from (director) Tigmanshu Dhulia that... with immense remorse I have to announce to the audience sitting here that veteran actress Shashi Kapoor has passed away and his contribution will never be forgotten and will always be remembered by the film Industry in India, world over," said founder-president Ramkishore Parcha Parcha.
Parcha then went onto pay tribute to the other actors the Indian entertainment industry lost this year including Om Puri, Achala Sachdev, Vinod Khanna, Reema Lagoo, Tom Alter, Lekh Tandon, Inder Kumar, Sita Ram Panchal and Girija Devi.
"While opening the festival with immense pleasure, we also feel sorry that the country lost such and so many big artistes so soon in a short span of time. I would like each of us to maintain silence for a minute for them while standing and pay our respects and pray for their souls to rest in peace."
DIFF 2017, which will continue till Saturday, will be a riot of 174 films, 200 art works with participation of 54 countries across the globe.
With Jharkhand being the festival's state tourism partner, the films will be screened under various sections including world cinema, NRI cinema, cinema across the border, Indian showcase, documentaries, green films, student films and short films.
"Despite the worldwide economic slump, which has threatened to close down many film festivals, some of them in countries like Jordan, Egypt, Morocco and Ukraine, have managed to swim against the tide and keep their events alive," said Parcha.
The fest will also have cinema from places like Afghanistan, Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Belarus, Brazil, Canada, China, Sri Lanka, Germany, France, Greece, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Korea, Kuwait, Lebanon, Nepal, Pakistan, Palestine, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Singapore, South Africa, Syria and Venezuela.
The sixth edition of DIFF will be held at Central Park and NDMC Convention Centre.
While the opening film of the festival was "Underpants Thief", the closing films of the extravaganza will be "Mehram", "Refraction" and "Mussoorie Breeze".
Some of the movies which will be screened at the festival include "Mum", "Living Idle", "Mukti", "An Act of Violence", "Albert Einstien- A Survival Story Of A Student", "Tinted", "The Paths", "Pastel", "Over Time" among others.
DIFF 2017 will also showcase art works by different artistes from places like Bihar, Morocca, New Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Haryana, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh.