The nine-day long International Film Festival of India just concluded in India’s sunshine state, Goa here’s the lowdown…
THE 53RD EDITION OF THE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL OF INDIA (IFFI), which is held in Goa, concluded with massive controversy here in India after Israeli filmmaker and the festival’s international jury head Nadav Lapid (‘Ahed’s Knee’ 2021) called ‘The Kashmir Files’ a “propaganda” at the closing ceremony.
Lapid said he was “disturbed and shocked” because the box-office blockbuster was selected for the Indian Panorama section.
Now, even India’s opposition has raked up the issue and news channels have been debating it non-stop since last Monday (28). The film’s director Vivek Agnihotri as well as the Israeli ambassador to India Naor Gilon have slammed Lapid’s comments.
‘The Kashmir Files’ was competing against 14 movies from around the world. The film is about the troubles in the region in the 1990s and depicts the exodus of Kashmiri Hindus.
Indian film personalities such as Asha Parekh, Chiranjeevi, Akshay Kumar, Ayushmann Khurrana, Sharman Joshi and Rana Daggubati as well as India’s Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Singh Thakur, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Dr L Murugan and Goa’s Chief Minister Pramod Sawant were all present at the closing ceremony.
In another development, producer of the Iranian film, ‘A Minor’, Reza Dormishian, who was leaving for India to attend its premiere was detained at Tehran airport and barred from leaving the country due to his support to the ongoing protests in Iran. He has been referred for prosecution.
After two hybrid editions, IFFI kicked off its physical format on November 20 at at the Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Indoor Stadium.
The opening night saw performances by actors Varun Dhawan, Sara Ali Khan, Kartik Aaryan and Mrunal Thakur. While Dhawan grooved to songs such as ‘Teri mitti’, ‘Vande Mataram’, ‘Hindustani’, ‘Thumkeshwari’, ‘Nach Punjaban’ and ‘Jungle Mein Kaand’, Khan shimmied to classics ‘Inn aankhon ki masti’, ‘Salaam-e-ishq meri jaan’, ‘Maar dala’ and ‘Ghoomar’. Aaryan performed to ‘Kaala jaadu’, ‘Bom diggy diggy’ and ‘Dil chori’.
The team of the intrenationa hit Israeli TV series ‘Fauda’ were felicitated at the event. Austrian Director Dieter Berner’s biographical drama ‘Alma and Oskar’, which is based on the relationship between the Viennese society Grand Dame Alma Mahler (1879-1964) and Austrian artist Oskar Kokoschka (1886-1980), opened the event.
Several premieres of Indian, foreign and OTT tittles were held at the event.
Stars such as Paresh Rawal, Ajay Devgn and Tabu, Varun Dhawan and Kriti Sanon, and Yami Gautam showed up to promote their movies ‘The Storyteller,’ ‘Drishyam 2’, ‘Bhediya’ and ‘Lost’ respectively. Telugu film ‘Raymo’, Deepti Naval and Kalki Koechlin’s ‘Goldfish’ and Randeep Hooda and Ileana D’Cruz’s ‘Tera Kya Hoga Lovely’ also premiered.
International award winners such as ‘Decision to Leave’ by Park-Chan Wook, ‘Triangle of Sadness’ by Ruben Ostlund, ‘The Whale’ by Darren Oronofsky, ‘Pinocchio’ by Guillermo Del Toro, ‘Both Sides of the Blade’ by Claire Denis, ‘Innocence’ by Guy Davidi, ‘Saint Omer’ by Alice Diop and ‘The Blue Caftan’ by Maryam Touzani were also screened.
The five-day-long Film Bazaar, which is hosted by the National Film Development Corporation introduced 42 pavilions this year. It is the market arm of the festival and tends to attract more foreign filmmakers and is recognised as being one of the important film markets in Asia.
Bangladeshi film ‘Agantuk’ was adjudged the winner of the Prasad DI award at the bazaar.
As part of the Work in Progress Lab section, Kannada film ‘Mithya’ grabbed the Prasad Post-Production Award.
Multilingual Nepali film, ‘Kumaoni’ and Hindi movie ‘Bahadur’ were honoured with the Moviebuff Appreciation Awards.
Two short movies, ‘Perianayaki’ by Bala Murali Shingade and Suchana Saha’s animated feature ‘Priyo Ami’ were conferred awards under the Film Bazaar Recommends (FBR) category.
The Homage section paid tributes to singers Lata Mangeshkar, KK, Bhupinder Singh and Bappi Lahiri, Kathak maestro Pt. Birju Maharaj, actors Ramesh Deo, Nipon Das, Maheshwari Amma and Monica Vitti, writer-director Ivan Reitman and directors Tarun Majumdar, Douglas Trumbell, Peter Bogdanovich and Bob Rafelson.
This year, the Country of Focus was France. Pierre Coré’s ‘Belle Et Sebastien’, Emmanuel Carrère’s ‘Between Two Worlds’, Rebecca Zlotowski’s ‘Other People’s Children’, Philippe Lioret’s ‘Sixteen’, Florence Miailhe’s ‘The Crossing’, Nicolas Parisar’s ‘The Green Perfume’, Jean-Marc Peyrefitte’s ‘The Vanished President’, and Marie Amiguet and Vincent Munier’s ‘The Velvet Queen’ were all screened in this section.
Spanish film Director Carlos Saura was honoured with the prestigious Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement award. As many as 25 feature films and 19 non-feature films from India were showcased in the Indian Panorama section. Richard Attenborough’s Oscar winning film ‘Gandhi’ and Ananth Narayan Mahadevan’s ‘The Storyteller’ were screened in the Divyangjan section, which showed movies with embedded subtitles and audio descriptions for the specially-abled. Polish filmmaker Krzysztof Zanussi’s ‘Perfect Number’ brought the curtains down on the nine-day visual extravaganza.
Overall, 282 films clocking 35,000 minutes of viewing time were screened. These included 183 international and 97 Indian films in 80 languages (65 Indian) from 78 countries worldwide.
*Now many in the independent film community in India will be gearing up for the International Film Festival of Kerala (December 9-16), regarded as one of India’s best and run by the state administration.
AND THE WINNERS ARE..
Golden Peacock Best Film – I Have Electric Dreams (Spanish)
Silver Peacock Best Director – Nader Saeivar for No End (Iran)
Best Actor (Female) – Daniela Marin Navarro for I Have Electric Dreams (Spanish)
Best Actor (Male) – Vahid Mobasheri for No End (Iran)
Best Debut Feature Film Of A Director – Asimina Proedrou for Behind the Haystacks (Greece)
Special Jury Award – Lav Diaz for When The Waves Are Gone (Philippines)
Special Mention To A Debut Feature Film Of A Director – Praveen Kandregula for Cinema Bandi (Telugu)
ICFT UNESCO Gandhi Medal – Payam Eskandar for Nargesi (Iran)
Indian Film Personality of the Year – Chiranjeevi
www.asianculturevulture.com covered the festival in person 2018-19, attending the 50 anniversary edition of IFFI –