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Dan Wolman and Nitin Kakkar get best film awards at first DIFF

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NEW DELHI: Noted Israel filmmaker Dan Wolman's Film 'Valley of Strength? and Indian director Nitin Kakkar's film ?Filmistaan? were awarded as the Best Films at the first Delhi International Film Festival.

Renowned telecaster Shoib Ilyasi's film '498-A Wedding Gift? on false cases relating to dowry and Nitin Tiwari's 'Rajula' received the Best Audience Choice Awards.

Veteran actor and theatre artist Zohra Sehgal was awarded the Minar-E-Dilli award and thespian Sharmila Tagore was honoured with the Life Time Achievement Award for her immense contribution in films.

The best film under the NRI section went to Sangeeta Nambiyar?s film ?The Gran Plan? from Singapore and ?Cinema for the People? won the award in the documentary section. Under animation section, Suraj Bashisht from India got an award for his film ?Bravo?. The Art section award went to Bharti Dixit for her paintings and to Harminder Singh for his unique sculptures.

A total of 174 films from 32 countries including at least twenty per cent from the SAARC countries were screened at the Festival. The best amongst selected films were honoured with the Golden Minar and Silver Minar awards respectively.

DIFF founder president and senior journalist Ram Kishore Parcha said the festival had been timed to coincide with 100 years of Indian cinema and a century of Delhi as the capital of India.

Parcha said there had been a vacuum of an international film festival since the International Film Festival of India was shifted to Goa, and there was also a need to have a filmmaking hub in north India. This festival fulfilled these needs.

There were as many as sixteen films from Pakistan with ?Lamha? being the closing film. The Polish film ?80 Million? by Waldemar Krzystek was the opening film.

Festival secretary K Goswami who is a filmmaker himself announced that a film library of DVDs of classics was being established at the Indian Media and Communication Centre in Gautam Nagar in south Delhi.

Classic Films from Overseas and India were included as special sections along with Delhi Scope section in the festival. Retrospective, Tributes and Homage sections included films of Dev Anand, Balraj Sahni and other legendary filmmakers and actors. This section also included films of Adoor Gopalakrishnan and the distinguished actor Soumitra Chatterjee from Bengal.

A special section called NRI Cinema had been included in the festival. Under this section at least 15 films by Non Resident Indians living in different parts of the world were showcased.

The organizations that partnered with the festival are Broadway International Film Festival, Los Angeles, South Cinema South Film Festival, and JMT from Israel, Slade school of fine arts, London, Film factory china, Turkish Film Industry, Cinetech Nationale Mexico, Brazil films, Media Box Bangladesh, Hunarkada from Pakistan, Film Boutique from Germany, Second largest Nantes film festival of France and French cultural centre.

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