Chinese film from Taiwan gets best film at 38th IFFI

MUMBAI: The Chinese film The Wall from Taiwan by director Lin Chih Ju, a sensitive story about a man locked up behind four walls unaware of the changes taking place around him, won the Golden Peaock for best film at the 38th International Film Festival of India which concluded here this evening.

The international jury headed by renowned Hungarian filmmaker Marta Meszaros selected Thai director Pongpat Wachirabunjong to receive the Silver Peacock as the most promising director for his film Me Myself.

The Special Jury award was shared by two films: director Golam Rabanny Biplab for the story of the Bangladeshi film - Swopnodanay (On the Wings of Dreams) and the child artist (Miss) Julia Urbini for her Performance in the Mexican film – Mas Que A Nada En El Mundo (More than Anything in the World) directed by Andres Leon Becker and Javier Solar.

While the recipient of the best film award gets a cash prize of Rs one million and Silver Peacock recipient gets Rs 500,000, both the Special Jury awardees get Silver Peacock and Rs 2,50,000 each.

While one jury member Meltem Cumbul who is an actress in Turkey had to leave, the other members of the jury Argentinean filmmaker Pablo Cesar, India’s Shaji N Karun, and New Zealand’s Robert Sarkies were present along with Ms Meszaros.

The awards were given away by Goa Governor S C Jamir, Chief Minister Digambar Kamat, Panaji Mayor Tony Rodrigues, and the chief guest, filmmaker Buddhadeb Dasgupta.

Speaking at the short function which concluded with the screening of Carlos Saura’s Portuguese film Fardos, Dasgupta wanted more selectors of foreign film festivals and international critics to come to India for the festivals.

The Chief Minister reiterated that there was now no apprehension that Goa was the permanent venue for the international film festival.

Others who spoke at the function were Information and Broadcasting Ministry Joint Secretary (films) V B Pyarelal and Festival Director Neelam Kapur.

The festival had commenced on 23 November and a total of 176 films from 46 countries including 59 from India were screened. There were two Indian films in the competition section which had 14 films from 13 countries.

In the citation for the best film, the jury described it as ‘a finely crafted film about dreams, hope, betrayal and love that depicts ordinary people coping in politically challenging times. The film is highly cinematic, affecting and makes the political personal. The filmmaker has created a complete world within the four walls of a simple house. We hope the world sees this beautiful film.’
The Thai film was described as a ‘film about whether we have the freedom to choose our own life. It depicts a story of hope for a world without discrimination while recognising the difficulties of coping with being different. Debut director Pongpat Wachirabunjong has made a deeply affecting film that expresses something of the essence of the human spirit. We look forward to seeing many more films from this talented new director.’
The Bangladeshi film - Swopnodanay (On the Wings of Dreams) was given the jury award for weaving a ‘simple realist story about a poor man who has the chance to dream of another life but discovers the things he already has are more important than the dream. This classic story has been told simply without western influence and resonates a truth about life for millions of people around the world’. The child artist Julia got the award ‘for giving an enchanting, nuanced performance that helps make this film special. Her remarkable performance allows us to engage with the child’s imagination, her anguish, her fears and ultimately her love for her mother.’

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