"It was felt that the association of Ranbir Kapoor would help a great deal in promoting the festival as he is quite popular among the younger audience," a senior Information and Broadcasting Ministry official said here.
"On the other hand, the association of Gulzar is invaluable. Some of his important work has been quite popular with the children," the official said.
The two special guests are expected to be present at Lalitha Kala Thoranam, Public Garden in Hyderabad for the opening ceremony, the official added.
The I&B ministry has also chalked out a detailed plan to promote the festival on social media platforms like Youtube, Twitter and Facebook.
"The I&B is keen to ensure that the festival is extensively on all the social media platforms which include Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus and the official blog. A separate ICFFI playlist will be created on Youtube, which will be integrated with all other platforms," the official said.
About 200 high quality films from 48 countries have been selected for the festival out of 894 entries, and will be screened across 10 screens in Hyderabad.
There would be 30 shows every day and a participation of 1,50,000 children is expected, the official said adding that special arrangements have also been made for specially-abled children in one of the theatres.
A combination of cultural programmes and screening of films is expected to be the highlight of both the opening and closing ceremonies of the festival.
Gopi Gawaiyya Bagha Baiyaya, a recently produced film of Children's Film Society of India (CFSI), will be screened during the opening ceremony.
The schedule for screening of award-winning films, information about award winners, festival posters and hoarding themes will be shared and spread through various social media platforms.
Special interview packages of the celebrities and award winners will also be uploaded and shared on all the platforms, officials said.
The 18th ICFFI is a collaborative effort between CFSI, the Andhra Pradesh Government and the I&B ministry.