MUMBAI: The 38th International Film Festival of India concluded with the screening of Portugal-Spain film ‘Fados’, directed by Carlos Saura.
Director Lin Chih Ju bagged the Best Film Award with the Golden Peacock and a cash award of 10 lakhs for the Taiwanese film, The Wall. The film won the top award for a finely crafted film about dreams, hope, betrayal and love that depicts ordinary people coping in politically challenging times. The filmmaker has created a complete world within the four wall of a simple house.
The Most Promising Director award went to Pongpat Wachirabunjong for her debut Thai film, Khaw Hai Rak Johg Jaroen (Me Myself) with the Silver Peacock and a cash award of Rs. 5 lakhs. The film about whether we have the freedom to choose our own life. It depicts a story of hope for a world without discrimination while recognizing the difficulties of coping with being different.
The Special Jury Award was shared by Golam Rabanny Biplab for story writing of the Bangladeshi film, Swopnodanay (on the wings of dreams) and the child artist Julia Urbini for her performance in the Mexican film, Mas Que A Nada En El Mundo (more than anything in the world). Each winner was presented a Silver Peacock medal, a cash prize of Rs. 2,50,000 and a certificate. Swopnodanay is a simple story of a poor man who has the chance to dream of another life but discovers the things he already has are more important than the dream. Mas Que A Nada En El Mundo depicts the story of a child craving for her mother’s love. The performance of the child actor is central to the film’s success.
The five-member jury was headed by film maker from Hungary Ms Marta Mazaros, who has directed more than 60 films and has won awards in several international film festivals. Other members of the jury were – Meltem Cumbul, a leading actress from Turkey; Shaji N Karun, cinematographer, film director and script writer from Kerala; noted Argentinian film director Pablo Cesar and Robert Sarkies, a young film maker from New Zealand.
Chief guest at the closing ceremony, noted Bengali film maker Budhadeb Dasgupta said, “This year’s festival had many innovations and good quality films were screened. Success of a film festival depends on films it offers and from this perspective IFFI â€“ 2007 has been a success.”
Dasgupta felt that more film makers and directors from the international cinema should be invited at the festival as that would raise the level of the festival and provide much to learn for the new Indian film makers.
Chief Minister of Goa, Digambar Kamat in his remarks said that overall perception is that this edition of the festival has been a success but Goa would continue to strive for further improving the film festival in the coming years. He expressed his gratitude to the Information and Broadcasting and Parliamentary Affairs Minister, P. R. Dasmunsi for his support for making the festival a success and making Goa a permanent venue for IFFI.
The jury chairperson, Marta Mazaros said, “At IFFI we get to see films with a huge diversity in terms of culture, film making styles and varied perspectives. This is something which one may not get to see even in American films.” She recalled the place of legendary film makers Satyajit Ray and Raj Kapoor in the international cinema.
Director, DFF, Neelam Kapur in her vote of thanks said that the next IFFI would be held in the third week of November, 2008. Governor of Goa, S. C. Jamir, Speaker, Goa Assembly P. S. Rane, film personality Shekhar Kapur, Panjim Mayor Tony Rodrigues, Chief Secretary of Goa J. P. Singh and JS (Films) V. B. Pyarelal were among those present at the closing ceremony.
During the 11-day extravaganza, which began on 23 November, with the screening of Romanian film, 4 months 3 weeks 2 days directed by Cristian Mungiu, 176 films from 46 countries were screened. Of these, 64 in Cinema of the World, 39 under the Retrospective/Homage Category and 59 were in various categories of the Indian cinema.
Hungary was the ‘Country in Focus’ wherein seven films from Hungary were screened. Tributes were paid to greats of Indian cinema like Vijay Anand, O. P. Nayyar, K. K. Mahajan and Vanmala Devi. Under the Indian Retrospective, five films of the great Bengali filmmaker Tapan Sinha were screened.
During the course of the festival besides film shows, a host of films-related events like Film Bazaar, Master Class and some seminars were also held to facilitate interaction and business meets in this sector. Over 3000 delegates from India and abroad took part in the Festival.
A special section ‘India @ 60’ was devoted to the celebration of 60 years of country’s independence. Under this section, three feature films and four documentaries on the theme of patriotism were screened.
IFFI Goa Film Treasures was a new experiment at this year’s festival, wherein Thomson Foundation for film and TV Heritage, National Film Archive of India, Cinematheque Francaise and Film and Television Institute of India created a classics section entirely dedicated to film heritage.