PANAJI: The Indo-Bangladesh co-production Moner Manush, directed by eminent filmmaker Goutam Ghose, today bagged the best film award at the 41st International Film Festival of India which concluded here.
The last time an India film received an award at the IFFI in 2002, when Revati, incidentally a member of jury this year, had received the special jury prize of Silver Peacock for her film, Mitr– My Friend.
The film, which is being released simultaneously tomorrow in India and Bangladesh, is about the Sufi Saint Lallan Faqir who also popularised Baul singing.
Another Indian film, Just Another Love story by Kaushik Ganguly in English, which starred the eminent director Rituparno Ghosh in a debut role, shared the Special Jury with ‘The Boy’ by Taik Wai Titi from New Zealand.
The best director award went to Susanne Bier for the film In a Better World from Dennark and was received by her son.
The best actor award went to Güven Kirac for the Turkish film The Crossing by Selim Demirdelen, while the best actress award went to Magdalena Boczarska in the Polish film Little Rose by Jan Kidawa-Blonski.
All the recipients except the best director were present to receive their awards.
The best film gets the Golden Peacock, a citation, and a cash award of Rs 4 million to be shared equally between the director and producer.
The best director also gets the Golden Peacock while the others get Silver Peacock.
The total award money is $200,000 (Rs nine million) for all awards.
The awards were given away at the ceremony at Kala Academy by Union Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Chowdhury Mohan Jatua, Goa Chief Minister Digambar Kamat, matinee idol Saif Ali Khan (who was the Chief Guest) and other members of the Goa cabinet.
Polish writer, director, producer Jerzy Antczak who chaired the International Jury read out the awards while Indian member Revathy Menon read the citations.
Other members of the jury were: Sturla Gunnarsson who is a filmmaker from Canada; Australia’s Mick Molloy who is a writer, actor, producer; and Olivier P?re who is a festival programmer and author from France.
The concluding programme which culminated with screening of the closing film ‘The Princess of Montpensier’ from France directed by Bernard Tavernier was preceded by a dance programme devised by actress Gracy Singh. Arjun Bajwa and Neetu Chandra were the anchors for the grand finale.
Jatua said Indian films were now being seen in the remotest corners of the globe and were promoting national culture.
Indian cinema was also making a mark overseas in other ways and would be the focus in the next Locarno International Film Festival.
Kamat said the ticket sales had surpassed the sales of last year, fetching over Rs 100,000 as against Rs 80,000 in IFFI 2009. He said the government was aware of the lacunae in infrastructure and was doing everything to overcome these hurdles. He promised a large convention center with bigger capacity soon.
Four film artistes were felicitated on the occasion: actresses Padmapriya and Priyamani, and actors Arjun Rampal and Prosenjit Chatgterjee (son of actor Biswajeet and hero of ‘Moner Manush’).
Festival Director S M Khan from the Directorate of Film Festivals said a total of over 200 films from 61 countries had taken part in the Festival, which commenced on 22 November. Apart from 18 films in competition, 70 were in Cinema of the World while 26 features and 19 non-features were in the Indian Panorama. In addition, there were tributes to around 11 film personalities who passed away over the past year and there were several retrospectives and focus on four different countries.