Dvortsevoy bags Golden Peacock at IIFI '08

MUMBAI: Director Sergei Dvortsevoy bagged the best film award with the Golden Peacock and a cash award of Rs 4 million for the Kazakhstan film Tulpan at the 39th International Film Festival of India that closed today with the screening of Iranian film The Song of the Sparrows, directed by Majid Majidi.

The director also got the most promising director award for the film. The award comprises the Silver Peacock and a cash award of Rs 1.5 million.

The special jury award went to Sri Lankan actress Malini Fonseka whose film Akasa Kusum featured in the competition section. The winner was presented a Silver Peacock, a cash prize of Rs 1.5 million and a certificate. Fonseka said that her film was an India-Sri Lanka co-production and the time has come for a closer relationship between the two countries. She also hoped for peace and happiness everywhere in these troubled times.

The five-member competition-jury was headed by noted Director from Hong Kong Peter Chan. Other members of the jury were Marco Mueller (Venice), Niki Karimi (Iran), Lav Diaz (Philippines) and Tabassum Hashmi (Tabu- India).

Two Indian entries — S Priyadarshan’s Tamil film Kanchivaram and Ramesh Laxman More’s Marathi film Mahasatta —were in the “competition” section among 13 other films chosen from Bangladesh, Russia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Kazakhstan, Sri Lanka, Iran, the Philippines, Argentina, China and Japan.

Chief Minister of Goa, Shri Digambar Kamat in his remarks said that IFFI 2008 was a landmark event. He said that the government of Goa is keen to develop the state as a hub for the entertainment industry. More multiplexes and other facilities are being created in Mudgaon, he added.

Joint Secretary (films) Ministry of Information & Broadcasting V.B.Pyarelal said that the festival gave us an opportunity to experience the visual interpretation of the various facets of life. He said that the occupancy remained very high throughout the festival as compared to last year.

During the 11-day festival, which began on 22 November, with the screening of Peter Chan’s Warlords, a total of 185 movies were shown from 44 countries. Films from Russia, Switzerland and Iran were screened under Country Focus section. The films of Aki Kaurusmaki (Finland), John Landis (USA) and Wong Kar Wai (Hong Kong) were screened in Foreign Retrospective. Eight restored heritage film classics were included in the Film Heritage – Thematic “Women” section. Five films were shown in Film India Worldwide.

Also, 83 Indian movies including 47 in the Indian Panorama were screened.

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