Russian film gets top award at the 45th IFFI

NEW DELHI: The Russian film, Leviathan, directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev has been awarded the Golden Peacock at the 45th International Film Festival of India (IFFI). More than 13,500 delegates and viewers turned up in Panaji for the 11-day event.

Producers Alexander Rodnyansky and Sergey Melkumov Aksi received the awards at the ceremony by Goa Governor Mridula Sinha and veteran actress Waheeda Rehman at a glittering closing ceremony. 

The festival which commenced on 20 November 2014 had 310 films from 79 countries including about 130 films from overseas. The dignitaries and the luminaries who were present included Nana Patekar, Jackie Shroff , Ravi Kishan and Jayaram among others. 

The lifetime achievement award was given to the internationally acclaimed and cosmopolitan Chinese filmmaker Wong Kar-Wai. At 56, he is the youngest filmmaker to get the lifetime achievement award at IFFI. He said that he was very much moved as well as honoured by the award. He appreciated the hospitality extended to him and the support to Chinese Cinema at IFFI. 

Speaking on the occasion, minister of state for Information and Broadcasting, Rajyavardhan Rathore commented that the focus of the film festival was on China, which showed that films connect hearts across nations and cultures. He added that the ministry was committed in facilitating the growth of the Indian film industry through policies that established the positioning of India as a ?soft power? and as a film destination. The policy of facilitating and co-production in film markets would be pursued proactively. He further added that the government was committed in taking forward the initiative of the national film heritage mission and the museum of Indian cinema.

Rathore explained that IFFI was an endeavour to understand the various social and cultural ethos through the eyes of cinema. The festival of films went beyond language, boundaries and connected people with one another. The entire film architecture involving different aspects connected the audience with one another. IFFI 2014 as a platform had succeeded in achieving this objective.

Rathore appreciated the effort by the social-media team of his ministry which created a special programme entitled ?Talkathon? which served as a platform for interaction between the audience and film personalities on social media at IFFI . This was the first of its kind initiative undertaken by the new media wing of the Ministry. It drew huge response from Netizens as they posted their queries/views to the celebrity guests on a real time basis. He said: ?This innovation succeeded in connecting the film lovers from all over the world with the international festival by converging social media tools on one platform i.e. Twitter, Facebook and YouTube?.

Earlier, Goa chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar announced that efforts would be made to enhance infrastructure in Goa as the number of the delegates at IFFI is growing phenomenally. Artistes from the North-East, which had a special place in the festival with a section on women-centric films, gave scintillating performances encapsulating various dance forms from the region. 

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