IFFI 53 Closes…if films be the food of love, play on…
“When the proposal to hold an International Film Festival in India was first mooted, a question that was frequently asked was: What is the object of such a festival, what purpose will it serve? To that, the reply was two-fold: First, a film festival enables film audiences in the country in which the festival is held to see the best pictures made in all the participating film-producing countries; secondly, an International Film Festival affords an opportunity to those engaged in the motion-picture industries of the participating countries to meet and discuss matters of common concern to all of them, to compare notes on the progress of this form of art and to concert plans for its future development.”
As the 53rd edition of IFFI, the International Film Festival of India, closes, we recall the above words of C. M. Agarwala, Organising Committee Chairperson of the very first edition of IFFI, conducted for the first time in 1952, in what was then Bombay. He said these words during his welcome address, delivered on January 24, 1952.
The 53rd edition came to a glittering close, at Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Indoor Stadium, in Talegaon, Goa today, November 28, 2022.
Honouring the Best of the Best
The prestigious Golden Peacock for the Best Film of the festival goes to Spanish film Tengo sueños eléctricos / I HAVE ELECTRIC DREAMS, a movie which the jury finds to be bringing to the screen the present and the future of cinema. Directed by Costa Rican film maker Valentina Maurel, the film explores 16-year-old girl Eva’s passage into adulthood, a process that is not just about getting older, a process which so profound that sometimes it can break people in a certain way.
Iranian writer and director Nader Saeivar bagged Silver Peacock for Best Director for No End, a magical and subtle portrayal of Iran’s regressive socio-political system. The Turkish film No End / Bi Payan, which depicts the manipulations and machinations of Iran’s secret police tells the story of Ayaz, a man of quiet integrity, who indulges in a lie involving the secret police in a desperate attempt to keep his house. Things get complicated when the real secret police enter the scene.
Vahid Mobasseri, lead actor of No End, is honoured with Silver Peacock for Best Actor (Male), for transmitting the complexity of feelings that torment the protagonist. Daniela Marín Navarro, lead Actor of Best Film ‘I Have Electric Dreams’ is honoured with Silver Peacock for Best Actor (Female).
The IFFI 53 Special Jury Award has gone to When the Waves are Gone by Filipino filmmaker Lav Diaz. The film is a story of an investigator in the Philippines, who is at a deep moral crossroads. The film discusses his dark past that continues to haunt him even as he tries to heal from severe anxiety and guilt.
IFFI honoured Director Asimina Proedrou, hailing from Athens, with the Award for the Best Debut Feature Film of a Director, for the film Behind the Haystacks, which had its International Premiere at the festival. The story invites viewers to partake in the journey of a man, his wife and his daughter, who are having to confront for the first time, when a crisis strikes, the price to pay for their actions.
Indian director, writer and cinematographer Praveen Kandregula has received Special Mention by the Jury for his film Cinema Bandi, the story of a poor and struggling auto driver who chances upon a deserted expensive camera, which gets him going on a journey from an auto-driver to a filmmaker.
Iranian film ‘Nargesi’ directed by Payam Eskandari wins ICFT-UNESCO Gandhi Award
Iranian film Nargesi by Director Payam Eskandari has won the ICFT-UNESCO Gandhi Medal, given for a film that best reflects Mahatma Gandhi's ideals of peace, tolerance and non-violence. The film is about a man with Down’s syndrome and the burden and consequences it creates in his life. Compassion and tenderness are the two qualities depicted in this award-winning film.
In his virtual message, Director Payam Eskandari thanked the IFFI jury members. “It is a big honour to receive this award, I want to thank those people who believed in me, to make this movie, especially my family - my lovely wife and all cast and crew of Nargesi.” He further said, he believes people with ‘Down's Syndrome’ are the angels of God and there are many beautiful stories about their life which should be heard.
This year, nine films from across the globe were chosen to compete for the ICFT-UNESCO Gandhi Medal.
Actor Producer Chiranjeevi Konidela Receives Indian Film Personality of the Year Award 2022
Mega Star of Tollywood, Padma Bhushan awardee Konidela Siva Sankara Vara Prasad popularly known as Chiranjeevi has been presented with Indian Film Personality of the Year Award for 2022.
Besides thanking IFFI, Government of India and Prime Minister for the honour, Chiranjeevi also expressed gratitude to his parents and to the Telugu film industry. Chiranjeevi also extended his gratitude to the Government and the film industry for the support and an experience worth a lifetime after receiving the award. ‘I bow my head and thank each and every one of you. If anybody has the idea of coming to cinema industry, please do come, this is a corruption-less profession, you will have no guilt conscience, if you have talent, you can project it, and you will grow sky-high.”
The announcement was made by the Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Anurag Singh Thakur, at the grand opening of the 53rd edition of IFFI.
‘Our goal is to build an enriching filming ecosystem in India and a future-ready industry’: Union I&B Minister Anurag Singh Thakur
Union Minister for Information & Broadcasting and Youth Affairs & Sports Anurag Singh Thakur said IFFI opened up a nuanced world of cinema for audiences across the region, both young and old, new delegates and festival veterans. “IFFI not only entertained but also educated us. IFFI tickled our humour and refined their senses”.
“Over the last nine days, IFFI curated the screenings of 282 films clocking 35,000 minutes of viewing time. The festival featured 183 international films and 97 Indian films in 65 international and 15 Indian languages from 78 countries worldwide. Over 20 Masterclasses, In-Conversation sessions and a long list of celebrity events were held, out of which several sessions were accessible not just physically but even virtually.” The Minister added that the diversity showcased at the festival is the living embodiment of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ that brought together creative thinkers, film makers, cinema lovers and cultural enthusiasts from all over the world under one roof.
Regional cinema is no more regional: Union I&B Minister Anurag Singh Thakur
The Minister reiterated his commitment to give a strong emphasis to regional cinema and provide a platform for its growth. Regional cinema is no more regional, it has gone to national and international, he added. “This year we have seen many films like RRR, KGF and others making the international rise. Recently, we had a delegation from Bangladesh and from Central Asian countries consisting of more than 80 youth. All they wanted was to listen to the Hindi film songs and regional film songs. They talked about movies from the era of Midhun Chakraborthy to Akshay Kumar and Chiranjeevi, which cut across boundaries. If content is strong, it does not stay in the limits of a particular region.”
IFFI is a great ambassador for India: Goa CM Pramod Sawant
Chief Minister of Goa Pramod Sawant welcomed all for remaining present at the closing ceremony of 53rd IFFI. He stated that IFFI is a great ambassador for India. He expressed gratitude to all the participants of the festival who have made 'Brand Goa' synonymous with 'Brand IFFI'.
He said that the entire state of Goa is a film city with a natural set, scenic beauty and hospitable people. The people of Goa love art, culture and music. Being a popular tourist destination, the state of Goa has attained a cosmopolitan outlook with diversity in cuisine, language and lifestyle.
The Chief Minister further stated that the state government strives to provide best necessary arrangements for the film festival every year so that the guest may have a memorable experience and they also endeavour to add new dimensions to the festival every year. He added that this will further enhance the engagements of film fraternity and the public also, and also to create an audience pool that is aware of the facets of movies beyond what is seen on screen.
He expressed happiness on being able to create special screening facilities under a special section for Divyang Jan. The CM mentioned that more than 12,000 registered participations took place in the festival this year. He stated that India celebrates various forms of knowledge and art and this country also believes in the philosophy of global brotherhood (Vasudaiva Kutumbakam) and hence Goa draws global delegates every year.
He mentioned that Goa is also emerging as a destination for MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions) tourism. He extended invitation to all for attending upcoming global events in Goa like the G20 Summit, World Ayurveda Congress and Purple Fest.
Acclaimed names of Indian Cinema add Glitter and Honour to the Closing Ceremony
Noted film personalities Asha Parekh, Akshay Kumar, Prasenjit Chatterjee, Ayushmann Khurrana, Esha Gupta, Manushi Chillar and Sharman Joshi were felicitated by the Union I & B Minister Anurag Singh Thakur, Chief Minister of Goa Pramod Sawant and Minister of State Dr. L Murugan.
The veteran actor Asha Parekh said that the release of her first ever film 'Dil Deke Dekho' is till date the best moment in her career. “I like Deepika Padukone the most amongst the present-day Hindi film's female actor”.
Actor Akshay Kumar remarked that Goa is one place every film industry person wants to be at!
Bengali film industry's leading actor Prasenjit Chatterjee said that everyone looks forward to IFFI as it is a platform for good cinema. About being in Goa, he said that every time he is in Goa, he takes back good memories from here.
Bollywood actor Ayushmann Khurrana said, "Whatever social and cultural issues I have raised, are through my films".
South India's big star Ramanaidu 'Rana' Daggubati spoke about the future of cinema. “In the future we may have cinema that is not just 2D, but interactable in some form,” he added. Speaking about IFFI, he said, with today's changing voices, festivals create the ecosystem for independent voices to thrive.
During the ceremony, the team of the internationally acclaimed Israeli television series Fauda on Netflix were felicitated by Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Singh Thakur. The series is developed by Lior Raz and Avi Issacharoff, drawing on their experiences in the Israel Defence Forces.
Avi Issacharoff said that it is a great honour that Fauda Season 4 premiered in IFFI on Sunday. Lior Raz said that they feel connected with the people of India and it feels great to know that Fauda is watched and loved by Indians.
Israel's Ambassador to India Naor Gilon said, "We the Israelis grew up on Indian film industry". He said that Israel's film industry is very small compared to India. He added that Israel is humbled as their series like Fauda and some others are popular in India. Israelis enjoy the variety of Indian films, he added.
During the ceremony, winners of an online poster design contest on genius filmmaker Satyajit Ray, named ‘The One & Only Ray’, were announced and presented with the prize. Jury received 635 entries and selected 75 posters and three winners from among them. The first prize was won by Shayak Das. The second and third position went to Varad Godbole and Aniruddha Chatterjee respectively. The winners have received cash prizes of rupees one lakh, seventy-five thousand and fifty thousand respectively.
Chief Secretary of Goa Puneet Kumar Goel, Joint Secretary (Films) in Ministry of I & B Prithul Kumar and MD, NFDC Ravinder Bhakar felicitated the technical partners Qube Cinemas, Cinionic, Pulz Electronics and SMPTE.
MD NFDC Ravinder Bhakar while delivering the vote of thanks said, IFFI believes in the spirit of Vasudaiva Kutumbakam (All world is one) and it was further strengthened by incorporating a section of accessible and inclusive cinema section for Divyangjans in this edition. The MD said that Nari Shakti were evidently present in the festival as more than 40 percent woman film makers participated in the 75 creative minds contest, 66 percent films in Competition section were from women film makers and women formed a big part of the festival workforce.
Union Minister of State Shripad Yesso Naik, Members of Goa Legislative Assembly, Members of IFFI Steering Committee and Members of Jury and film personalities were present on the occasion. Veteran director Ramesh Sippy and Actor Khushbu Sundar were also present.
Highlights of IFFI 53
Celebrated Spanish film director Carlos Saura honoured with Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement award at 53rd IFFI
As a befitting accolade for his immense contribution towards international cinema, Spanish film director Carlos Saura has been honoured with the Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement Award. Conveying his acceptance through a video message, Carlos Saura regretted his inability to join in person in Goa, as he is recovering from a bout of bronchitis. He has expressed his deepest gratitude and love towards festival organisers for bestowing him with the honour.
Carlos Saura is also the recipient of the Golden Bear for Best Director at the Berlin International Film Festival (for Deprisa Deprisa); along with two Silver Bears for La caza and Peppermint Frappe; a BAFTA for Carmen; and three awards at Cannes, among several others. His daughter Anna Saura accepted the Award on behalf of the eminent filmmaker at the opening ceremony.
‘75 Creative Minds of Tomorrow’ competes in the ‘53-Hour Challenge’ at IFFI 53
75 youngsters, all in the age group 18 – 35, attended the 53rd edition of International Film Festival of India as special guests, as part of the ‘75 Creative Minds of Tomorrow’ initiative of the Government. The promising cinematic talents of tomorrow hail from as many as 19 different states of India, namely Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Delhi, Goa, Haryana, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Rajasthan, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and West Bengal. The highest number of the selected winners are from Maharashtra, followed by Tamil Nadu and Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.
The youngest winners are 18-year-old Nitish Verma from Haryana and 18-year-old Toufique Mandal from Maharashtra, both of whom have been selected for their talent in Music Composition.
The 75 youngsters have been chosen based on their excellence in different areas of filmmaking, namely direction, acting, cinematography, editing, scriptwriting, playback singing, music composition, costume-and-makeup, art design and animation, visual effects (VFX), Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR). There are 15 artists from the Direction category, 13 budding actors and 11 from the field of Editing.
These 75 youngsters, also competed in a “53-Hour Challenge at IFFI 53. Under the competition they were challenged to produce a short film on their idea of India@100, all in 53 hours. This segment of IFFI 53 is powered by National Film Development Corporation in collaboration with Shorts TV.
Film Technology Exhibition by FTII showcased technology exploring new frontiers in film industry
An exhibition showcasing technology and various elements pertaining to film art/cinema and aesthetics was organised by Film and Television Institute of India as part of the IFFI 2022.The Exhibition at the 53rd IFFI showcased what’s new in the arena of entertainment technology. Film enthusiasts were taken through the interlinkages of technology in the context of film art and aesthetics and also how these elements come together and enrich viewer experience. Leading manufacturers of cinema equipment such as Sony, Canon, Red, Leica, Altas, DZO, Aputure Lights, Hansa Cine Equipment among others participated in the event. The exhibition showcased state-of-the-art equipment which are being used by industry experts in contemporary cinema production.
CBC Exhibition at IFFI captures depiction of freedom movement in Cinema
A multi-media digital exhibition on the theme "Freedom Movement and Cinema” was put up by the Central Bureau of Communication. The exhibition was inaugurated today by the Union Minister for Information & Broadcasting Anurag Singh Thakur. The Exhibition conceived by CBC team under the overarching theme of ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ sports a facade in the form of camera lens. A large 12 x 10 feet LED screen displayed clips of the popular Doordarshan series 'Swaraj' which profiles life and contributions of various freedom fighters against colonial rule. Rare footages related to the Freedom Movement covering 1857 War of Independence, Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, Kalapaani, Bhagat Singh and Chandrashekhar Azad were displayed.
IFFI 53 celebrates 50 glorious years of Manipuri Cinema
Manipur - the ‘Jewel city of India’, one of the eight sisters of North East, became the torch-bearer for promotion of films from North East India at the 53rd edition of International Film Festival of India (IFFI).To mark the golden jubilee of Manipuri cinema, IFFI 53 showcased Five Feature and five Non-Feature films, curated by Manipur State Film Development Society under Indian Panorama.
Gala Premieres of films
For the first time, IFFI hosted gala premieres of Indian films, foreign films and original series from OTT platforms, with the featured stars coming down to Goa to specially support their films. These included Paresh Rawal’s The Storyteller, Ajay Devgn and Tabu’s Drishyam 2, Varun Dhawan and Kriti Sanon’s Bhediya and Yami Gautam’s Lost, Telugu film, Raymo, Deepti Naval and Kalki Koechlin’s Goldfish and Randeep Hooda and Ileana D’Cruz’s Tera Kya Hoga Lovely were also premiered at IFFI, along with an episode of OTT shows like Vadhandhi, Khakee and Fauda Season 4.
The big draws were films which have won multiple awards at prestigious film festivals around the world, like Cannes, Berlin, Toronto and Venice. Some are directed by or feature Oscar winners. These films included Decision to Leave by Park-Chan Wook and Ruben Ostlund’s Triangle of Sadness, The Whale by Darren Oronofsky and Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio, Both Sides of the Blade by Claire Denis and Guy Davidi’s Innocence, Saint Omer by Alice Diop and The Blue Caftan by Maryam Touzani.
‘Country of Focus’
France being the ‘Country of Focus’ this year, with eight films from France screened under the package with the screening of Emmanuel Carrère’s ‘Between Two Worlds’ (Ouistreham).
Homage Section: In Honour of the Greats of Yore
The ‘Homage’ section of IFFI 53 included fifteen Indian and five international films. Tributes were paid to Bharat Ratna Lata Mangeshkar, singer-composer Bappi Lahiri, Kathak maestro Pt. Birju Maharaj, actors Ramesh Deo and Maheshwari Amma, singer KK, director Tarun, Mr Nipon Das Assamese actor and theater artist, Majumder and singer Bhupinder Singh. Whereas in International section, Festival paid homage to the genius of Bob Rafelson, Ivan Reitman, Peter Bogdanovich, Douglas Trumbell and Monica Vitti.
‘Film Bazaar’ has screened some of the finest films and filmmakers in various sections. For the first time, Pavilions made an appearance at IFFI in line with major international markets like the Marche du Cannes. This year, there was a total of 42 Pavilions, housing the film offices of the various state governments, the participating countries, industry players and media units from the ministry.
Created and organized by the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC), Film Bazaar has evolved into South Asia’s global film market from its humble beginnings in 2007. Every edition witnesses increased national and international participation. Over the years, films such as Lunch Box, Margarita with A Straw, Chauthi Koot, Qissa, Ship of Theseus, Titli, Court, Anhe Ghode Da Daan, Miss Lovely, Dum Lagake Haisha, Liar’s Dice and Thithi have been through one or more program of the Bazaar.
Over the course of five days, Film Bazaar becomes the converging point for film buyers and sellers from all over the world. The focus is on discovering, supporting and showcasing South Asian content and talent in filmmaking, production and distribution. The Bazaar also facilitates the sales of world cinema in the South Asian region.
Books to Box Office
A new Book Adaptation Program, Books to box office, has been introduced as an initiative to bridge the gap between good stories printed in books and good films that can be made by adapting books. Some of the best publishers were present to sell the rights of the books that can be turned into on screen content.
Masterclasses’ and ‘In Conversation’ Sessions
There were more than 20 ‘Masterclasses’ and ‘In Conversation’ sessions at IFFI 53 which had seen the participation of noted film personalities including Asha Parekh, V. Vijayendra Prasad, A R Rahman, A. Sreekar Prasad, Anupam Kher, Prasoon Joshi, Aanand L Rai, R Balki, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Pankaj Tripathi among others.
IFFI 53 offers better experience to specially-abled (Divyangjan)
IFFI 53 featured a Divyangjan Special Section and special academic sessions, to make the festival more inclusive and accessible for specially-abled (Divyangjan) film enthusiasts. The Divyangjan Special section this year in IFFI is a step towards making cinema an inclusive and accessible avenue for everyone. In this section, dedicated screenings for specially-abled audience were organized keeping in mind their accessibility needs in terms of formats of film screening and venue infrastructure, and management.
The films in this section had embedded subtitles, as well as audio descriptions. The audio descriptions were specially created audio tracks that narrates the visual information in a film. Further, films, like Richard Attenborough’s Oscar winning Gandhi and The Storyteller directed by Ananth Narayan Mahadevan, which were premiered at IFFI in the ‘Divyangjan’ section were audio-visually equipped with embedded audio descriptions and subtitles.