Bajpayee, 45, whose hit 'Satya' was screened in 1998 IFFI Panorama, said more than the money he used to earn as an usher, it was the films that excited him.
"My journey of becoming a film actor started at IFFI in Delhi. I was more excited about the films which were screened at the festival than the money I got for my job. I would often sneak into a theatre and watch some of the great films," said the 'Tevar' star, who has been a part of IFFI earlier too.
The actor lauded filmmakers whose entries were selected for Panorama this year. Manoj said he has been a great fan of Paresh Mokashi whose Marathi movie 'Elizabeth Ekadashi' is the opening feature film of the section.
"I personally feel honoured that I am given the privilege to sit in the front row with filmmakers like Paresh Mokashi and Shabnam, whom I have known for more than 15 years."
Manoj recognized how difficult it is in the time of commercialisation to make films.
"I understand how difficult it is in the time of commercialisation to make one film. IFFI has done a great job in promoting filmmakers in feature and non feature sections. Let's all celebrate festival of films," he said.
The event commenced here with the felicitation of the jury members who are behind curating films for both feature and non feature sections.
Festival director Shankar Mohan termed Indian panorama as the main section of the event.
"It is most important section of IFFI. Indian cinema is the pride of IFFI," he commented while addressing the delegates.
"They have been through very critical period of 15-21 days selecting the gems which you would be watching in next few days," Mohan stated.
The director recalled that Indian panorama, in the past, has produced some of the finest filmmakers.
"Several filmmakers are discovered and rediscovered here. It holds the key to nurturing Indian talent that we recognize today," he added.