The 46th International Film Festival of India (IFFI), held annually in Panaji, Goa, drew to a close on Sunday evening with a glittering ceremony hosted by veteran actors Kabir Bedi and Lillete Dubey. The 10-day festival, which showcased some of the best of international and Indian cinema, bid adieu with an awards function that followed a powerful performance of Hindi film songs by the Shillong Chamber Choir as well as live art by sand artist Rahul Arya, who depicted the journey of Indian cinema.
The full video of the opening ceremony
A number of films, already carrying honours from other festivals, won awards at this year's edition of IFFI. Here's a closer look at some of the big winners:
Best Film: Embrace Of The Serpent
The festival's top award, the Golden Peacock, went to Colombian filmmaker Ciro Guerra's adventure drama Embrace Of The Serpent, which has already won honours at Cannes, Odessa, and Lima this year. Shot in black-and-white, Embrace Of The Serpent tells the story of two separate expeditions that attempted to reach the heart of the Amazon in the early 20th century. The film has received universal acclaim from critics, with The Hollywood Reporter calling it "a visually mesmerizing exploration of man, nature and the destructive powers of colonialism".
Best Director: Peter Greenaway for Eisenstein In Guanajuato
The Silver Peacock for Best Director went to veteran British director Peter Greenaway (best known for The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover) for his latest film, which Variety has described as an "outrageously unconventional and deliriously profane biopic that could take decades to be duly appreciated". It focuses on a portion of legendary Russian filmmaker Sergei Eiseinstein's life, depicting the filmmaker's sexuality in quite a bold manner.
Best Actor: Vincent Lindon for The Measure Of A Man
The Silver Peacock for Best Actor prize was scooped up by veteran French actor Vincent Lindon, who also won the same award at Cannes this year. Playing a middle-aged, working-class man trying to make ends meet, Lindon has garnered praise for his performance even though reviews for the film have been middling. The Hollywood Reporter said of his performance, "He’s an actor who can do more with a glance than with several pages of dialogue, and his hardened physique gives him an intensity filled with deep sadness..."
Best Actress: Gunes Sensoy, Doga Doguslu, Tugba Sunguroglu, Elit Iscan, Ilayda Akdogan for Mustang
In a first-time move, the award for Best Actress was given to the five lead actresses in the Turkish film Mustang, directed by Deniz Gamze Ergüven. Described by The Guardian as "The Virgin Suicides in Anatolia", Mustang tells the story of five orphaned sisters in rural Turkey who are being prepped for their impending arranged marriages. Although in Turkish, the film is a French production and has as such been selected as France's entry for the Oscars this year.
Aside from the big ones, other winners included Russian filmmaker Nikita Mikhalkov, who was given the Lifetime Achievement Award. Serbian filmmaker Goran Radovavovic’s Enclave was conferred the Special Mention Award for focusing on ethnic conflict in Kosovo, while the Bolivian film Sealed Cargo won the Special Jury Award ("Absurdest film, yet so entertaining," said filmmaker Shekhar Kapur, chairperson of the international jury, while presenting the award).
The only Indian filmmaker to be felicitated on Sunday was Bengali director Kaushik Ganguly, who won the inaugural ICFT-UNESCO Award — the Fellini medal — for his upcoming Bengali feature film Cinemawala, which stars Parambrata Chatterjee.
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