As the sun set over the river Mandovi, the 50th edition of the International film festival of India (IFFI) rolled out the red carpet for the closing ceremony. The spectacular, star-studded closing ceremony brought the eight-day festivities of 200 odd screenings, master classes, in-conversation sessions to a fitting climax.
The closing ceremony brought a stellar line up of both the national and international and regional industry’s leading names. Present were Ilayaraja, Japanese filmmaker Takashi Miike, Hindi film director Rohit Shetty, Ramesh Sippy, actress Elena Fernandes, Rakul Preet Singh, Patrycja Planck, actress from Lillian, Curiosa film director-Lou Jeunet, Head of Jury John Bailey and Carol Littleton, jury member Robin Campilo, Prasonjit Chatterjee, Vijay Devarkonda and others.
The grand finale was hosted by actors Kunal Kapoor and Sonali Kulkarni.
Shri Amit Khare, Secretary I & B speaking at the closing announced that the 2020 and 2021 edition of IFFI will focus on India’s legendary filmmaker Satyajit Ray to mark his centenary celebrations.
About the 50th edition, he added, “I feel elated that this prestigious edition had more than 190 films from 76 countries and 90 Indian premiers. It is a matter of pride that the organizers received 24 Oscar submission films and more than 10000 delegates. I am grateful to the Government of Goa and ESG for making such elaborate arrangements.”
Offering insight on the participation numbers CEO, ESG Amit Satija, said, “More than 10000 delegates registered at the 2019 edition.”
In terms of international participation, IFFI saw majority delegates from UK, USA, Sri Lanka and UAE. Nationally majority of the delegates came from Goa, Kerala, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. All this was possible because of the paperless ticketing system.
The 50th edition recognized the industry-leading names Shri Ilyeraja, Smt. Manju Borah, Shri Prem Chopra, Shri Pavan Kumar, Shri Arvind Swami and Prem Chopra with a special felicitation. Birju Maharaj who wasn’t present had sent a recorded message.
Supriyo speaking at the festival said, “Today 50 is the new 30 so definitely these are the young years of this great festival and we take great pride that we are joined and supported by luminaries. We have strived to improve our facilities and include women participants and we hope to inspire more women directors in the future.”
The award winners for the night were:
Best film: Golden Peacock went to Particles (Directed by Blaise Harrison and Producer Estelle Fialon) (This carries the Golden Peacock and a cash prize of Rs 40 Lakhs)
Best Debut Film/Silver Peacock: Monsters by Marius Olteanu
Abou Leila by Amin Sidi-Boumediene (This carries a silver peacock, a certificate and Rs 10, lakhs)
IFFI Best Actor Award (Male)- Seu Jorge, for his role in Marigela (This carries a silver peacock, a certificate and Rs 10, lakhs).
IFFI Best Actor Award (Female)- Usha Jadhav, Mai Ghat, Crime No 103/2005 (This carries a silver peacock, a certificate and Rs 10, lakhs)
IFFI Best Director Award- Lijo Jose Pellissery, Jallikattu
Special Jury Award- Balloon, Pema Tseden (This carries a silver peacock, a certificate and Rs 15, lakhs)
Special Mention Award-Hellaro by Abhishek Shah
ICFT UNESCO Special Mention- Bahattar Hoorain
ICFT UNESCO Gandhi Medal- Rwanda by Riccardo Salvetti
As the awards poured to all the happy recipients the International Film Festival of India was a proudly awarded the ICFT UNESCO Fellini Medal. The UNESCO Gandhi medal for propagating Gandhian values was given to Rwanda directed by Riccardo Salvetti. ICFT Unesco special mention film went to Bahattar Hoorain by Sanjay Pooran Singh Chauhan.
The closing film was Marghe and Her Mother by noted Moshen Makhmalbaf. The team thanked IFFI and spoke about how they were introduced to India through the films of Satyajit Ray.
There were plenty of lighter moments at the closing that set things on a lighter note. Babul Surpiyo set his politician cape aside to return to his music roots with a spontaneous tribute of Ilyeraja’s song ‘Ae zindagi gale laga le.’
A series of spectacular dance performances choreographed by Tanushree Shankar on the theme of Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bhara that aims at creating an environment to celebrate regional identity took the audience through India’s rich traditions.
The 50th International Film Festival of India, 2019 witnessed 26 feature films and 15 non feature films in Indian panorama section. Industry experts for the 35 masterclasses and in-conversation sessions like Ilyeraja, Anil Kapoor, Imtiaz Ali, Rahul Rawail, Wagner Moura, Farah Khan, Takashi Miike, Nithya Menon shared their journey’s with packed.
The new additions this year brought old classics from the past festivals in the Golden Lining section. The sidelines also had the Open Forums that provided the platform for filmmakers, and enthusiasts to discuss and share ideas.