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Colombian filmmaker wins best woman director award at KIFF

IANS  |  Kolkata 

Colombian filmmaker Libia Stella Gomez won the coveted Golden Royal Bengal Tiger Award for best woman director and Hungarian entry "The Wednesday Child" bagged the best film trophy at the 21st International Film Festival's international women's competition here on Saturday.

Yemen's "I Am Nojoom, Age 10 And Divorced" received special mention from the jury headed by veteran actress Sharmila Tagore.

The awards were announced at the closing ceremony of the week-long festival. As many as 14 films were in the running for the honours.

The shortlisted films raised a toast to women's power and recognised the challenges faced by the fairer sex while helming and producing independent cinema.

Headed by Tagore, the jury comprised well-known Chinese-American actress Bai Ling, Polish director Filip Marczewski, Israeli filmmaker Samuel Maoz and Sri Lankan actress Swarna Mallawarachchi.

Gomez, who received a cash prize of Rs.21 lakh along with the trophy for "Ella", had earlier mentioned that in her country, there are only five women filmmakers.

Talking to the media through a translator, Gomez admitted it was "difficult" for women to make films in Colombia.

Khadija Al Salami, considered the first woman director from Yemen, was lauded by Tagore for depicting problems of law and religion in her film "I Am Nojoom, Age 10 And Divorced".

Salami, who is now based in Paris, said the fight against extremism should be waged with education, in the light of the recent terror attacks in Paris.

She said she was not scared to return to the French capital after the attacks and it was everybody's responsibility to join the fight against terrorism.

Hungarian filmmaker Lili Horvath took home a prize of Rs.51 lakh for "The Wednesday Child".

"Blanka" (Japan, the Philippines and Italy) won the NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema) award, while Indian entry "Phum Shang" took away the 'best documentary' prize.

"Randi Kuripukkal" also from India won the best short film honour.

The IFCA honour went to Nikhil Manjoo's "Last Page".

As many as 149 films by 137 directors from 61 countries were screened across 12 venues in the week-long extravaganza organised by the government.

First Published: Sat, November 21 2015. 19:54 IST