The magic, madness and pure love for cinema was felt once again as people started filling the seats at the Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Indoor Stadium, Taleigao, anticipating a star-studded closing ceremony of the 54th edition of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI).
Though the ceremony was disappointingly low on glamour and star quotient, the attendees left the stadium fulfilled and with memories of a special evening.
At the outset, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant extended the red carpet to filmmakers from across the globe to come to Goa and take the benefit of incentives offered by the Indian government.
"Goa will offer hassle-free permits and all kinds of support for unhindered film shootings and experience in Goa. Take advantage of incentives worth 3.6 million dollars for international filmmakers for both co-production and post-production. Goa is rolling out the red carpet for you. Also, I stay committed to making Goa a haven for the film industry," Sawant avowed.
SPECIAL FOR GOA
Sawant said that this year the festival was special for Goa because "we persisted in showcasing the rich cultural heritage of the state and providing a platform for Goan filmmakers to showcase their talent and creativity."
He said the participation of the Goan filmmakers this year in the festival was truly remarkable as their films have also received critical acclaim. "This is a testament to the Goan talent and potential of Goan cinema and I am confident that it will continue to flourish in future," he added.
CM also congratulated Hollywood star Michael Douglas for the Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement Award and said he would love the latter to bring his magic to Goa for his next film project.
Douglas said he was honoured to join the earlier recipients of this prestigious award. "Satyajit Ray personified what it meant to be a world-class filmmaker. His films represent not only the triumphs of the Indian film Industry, but the boundless potential of cross-cultural artistic expression," he said.
POWER OF CINEMA
Douglas said that cinema was the only medium that transcends division and has the power "to unite and transform us." Global language of cinema is more meaningful than ever in present-day times, he added.
He thanked his father, the legendary Kirk Douglas, for providing him the blueprint for this cinematic excellence and all those who made his journey to stardom possible.
The IFFI Jury Chairperson Shekhar Kapur said in the context of what's happening in the world right now with conflicts and wars, it was very important "to tell our stories." Our stories are who we are and if we
tell our stories to people and if people listen to each others' stories across borders then we will understand each other, he said emphatically.
He had words of praise for the jury members and said he appreciated the efforts that go into making a film. “Every film we saw deserves all the attention and my jury members thank you so much for bearing with me.”
The coveted Golden Peacock 'Best Film' Award was bagged by the Persian masterpiece, Endless Borders, directed by Abbas Amini.
This year, the festival introduced its first-ever Best Web series OTT award which went to Panchayat Season 2.
The Special Jury award was conferred on actor-filmmaker Rishab Shetty for his film Kantara. “I’m very happy and thankful to Kantara. I didn’t ever think that a simple folklore of my village would get me on this stage” the actor confessed.
No celebration is complete without music, and the event saw some memorable performances by the Harmony of the Pines (the Himachal Pradesh police orchestra). Their lively act got the audience lip-syncing to some patriotic and Bollywood tunes.
The event also saw musical performances by actor-singer Ayushmann Khurrana and singer-composer Amit Trivedi.
Golden Peacock 'Best Film' Award - Endless Borders directed by Abbas Amini.
Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Cinema - Michael Kirk Douglas.
Best Director award - Stephan Komandarev for Blaga’s Lessons.
Best Male Actor - Pouria Rahimi Sam for Endless Borders.
Best Female Actor award- Melanie Thierry for Party of Fools.
Best Debut feature Film of a Director– When The Seedlings Grow, Turkish filmmaker Rêger Azad Kaya.
ICFT UNESCO Gandhi Medal - Drift by Anthony Chen.
Best Web series OTT award - Panchayat Season 2.
Special Jury Award – Rishab Shetty for Kantara.