AS curtains went down on the 49th International Film Festival of India, the government and the organisers on Wednesday revealed that preparations for the golden jubilee edition of the country’s largest film festival have already begun, with 2019 expected to host many more movies, and also a special section tracing the history of movies and IFFI through the last five decades.
This year’s festival will be best remembered for the films screened, along with the heartfelt gratitude expressed by screenwriter Salim Khan as he accepted the Special Award in the Lifetime Contribution Category as he thanked Javed Akhtar, his old colleague. The event was held at Syama Prasad Stadium in the Goa capital.
In his ‘Thank You note’, read by actor-son Arbaaz Khan as he accepted the award, the senior Khan said, “I dedicate this award to Indore, my birthplace; to Mumbai, my workplace; and the film industry, which has given to me everything. I would like to thank Javed Akhtar, without whose contribution this would not have been possible.”
The festival saw more than 220 films from 67 countries, along with world premieres of English film The Aspern Papers and German Sealed Lips. In all, 26 feature films and 21 non-feature films were screened in the Indian Panorama section.
Veteran Israeli filmmaker Dan Wolman was given he Lifetime Achievement Award at the opening ceremony. Among the winners were Sergei Loznitsa’s Donbass, which won the Golden Peacock and cash prize of Rs 4 million.
Among Indians, Lijo Jose Pellissery got the Best Director Award for Ee.Ma.Yau — he won the Silver Peacock. The film’s actor, Chemnban Vinod, won the Best Actor award. Ukrainian film When the Trees Fall won the Best Actor (female) award for Anastasiia Pustovit. Walking with the Wind, directed by Praveen Morchhale, won The ICFT-UNESCO Gandhi Medal instituted by the International Council for Film, Television and Audiovisual Communication, Paris and UNESCO.