Panaji: Veteran actor Prem Chopra, legendary music composer Ilaiyaraaja, Assamese filmmaker Manju Borah, actor Aravind Swamy, Manipuri filmmaker Haobam Paban Kumar and Kathak dancer Birju Maharaj were felicitated here on Thursday at the closing ceremony of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI).
The ceremony, hosted by actress Sonali Kulkarni and actor Kunal Kapoor, honoured this year’s other winners, too. A special mention was given to the film “Hellaro”, directed by Abhishek Shah.
The Special Jury Award went to the Chinese film “Balloon”, directed by Pema Tseden. The Best Debut Film of a Director Award was bestowed upon “Monsters” by Romanian director Marius Otleanu and “Abou Leila” by Algerian director Amin Sidi Boumediene.
Usha Jadhav was announced as the winner of Silver Peacock Award for Best Actor (Female), for the Marathi film “Mai Ghat: Crime No.103/2005”. Indian filmmaker Lijo Jose Pellissery won the Best Director Award for his film “Jallikattu”.
The Silver Peacock Award for the Best Actor (Male) went to Brazilian actor Seu Jorge for the film “Marighella”, which was directed by “Narcos” star Wagner Moura.
The Golden Peacock Award for the Best Film went to the French-Swiss movie “Particles”, directed by Blaise Harrison and produced by Estelle Fialon.
On completion of 50 years, the festival was bestowed upon the ICFT-UNESCO Fellini Medal. The Director of the International Council for Film Television & Audio-Visual Communication (ICFT), Georges Dupont, presented the medal to the festival officials.
“Rwanda” director Riccardo Salvetti won the ICFT UNESCO Gandhi Award. “Bahattar Hoorain”, directed by Sanjay Puran Singh Chauhan, received the ICFT UNESCO Special.
The closing film was “Marghe and Her Mother” by Iranian maestro Moshen Makhmalbaf. The team thanked IFFI and spoke about how they were introduced to India through the films of Satyajit Ray.
The ceremony saw celebrities like Japanese filmmaker Takashi Miike, Hindi film directors Rohit Shetty and Ramesh Sippy, actress Rakul Preet Singh, American cinematographer John Bailey in attendance.
It also had people from the political world. Governor of Goa Satya Pal Malik, Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, I&B Secretary Amit Khare, and Minister of State for Environment, Forests and Climate Change Babul Supriyo were among them.
Khare announced that the 2020 and 2021 editions of IFFI will focus on India’s legendary filmmaker Satyajit Ray to mark his centenary celebration.
Supriyo also showed the audience that his singing skills are still intact. He paid a tribute to Ilaiyaraaja by singing his iconic song “Ae zindagi gale laga le”.
The evening was high on music and dance.
There were dance performances that celebrated the diverse cultural and artistic forms of India.
Singer Hariharan and singer-guitarist Lesle Lewis — popular as the Colonial Cousins — took the audience down memory lane by singing their nineties hits such as “Krishna” and “Sa ni dha pa”.
The 50th International Film Festival of India, which ran from November 20-28, had about 190 films screened from 76 different countries. Among these, 90 Indian premieres, six world premieres and 11 Asian premieres took place.
There were also Master Classes and in-conversation sessions with celebrities such as Imtiaz Ali, Wagner Moura, Farah Khan, Takashi Miike and Nithya Menen.