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'Marghe and Her Mother' brings down curtains on 50th IFFI


Press Trust of India Panaji
The screening of renowned Iranian director Mohsen Makhmalbaf's Italy-set refugee drama "Marghe and Her Mother" closed the golden jubilee edition of the International Festival of India (IFFI) on Thursday here.
Close to 250 films from various countries were screened at the premier movie extravaganza, which opened on November 20.
The spectacular, star-studded closing ceremony brought the eight day festivities of screenings, master classes, in-conversation sessions to a fitting climax.
The closing ceremony brought a stellar line-up of both the national and international and regional industry's leading names.
Legendary music composer Ilaiyaraaja, director Manju Borah, veteran actor Prem Chopra, actor Arvind Swami, Kathak doyen Pandit Birju Maharaj, dancer Tanusree Shankar, among others were felicitated.
Also present at the ceremony were Goa Governor Satyapal Malik, who was the chief guest for the evening, Information and Broadcasting Secretary Amit Khare, Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, actor-BJP MPs Rupa Ganguly and Ravi Kishan, Union minister Babul Supriyo, among others.
Khare said the 2020 and 2021 edition of IFFI will focus on legendary Indian filmmaker Satyajit Ray to mark his centenary celebrations.
"I feel elated that this prestigious edition had more than 190 films from 76 countries and 90 Indian premiers. It is a matter of pride that the organisers received 24 Oscar submission films and more than 10,000 delegates," he said of the current edition.
Goa Governor Malik said that he still had a "hangover" of Kashmir. Malik served as the last governor of Jammu and Kashmir, before the abrogation of the special status of the state under Article 370, and its bifurcation into two union territories in August.
Quoting the song "Ke aaj hum apni duaon ke asar dekhenge" from Meena Kumari's 1972 classic "Pakeezah", the governor said the last line of the song was relevant for him when he was in Kashmir.
"'Aaj ki raat bachenge to sehar dekhenge'. There were so many dangers..." he said.
The governor also appealed to the filmmakers to highlight the true picture of India -- with employment, poverty, the condition of farmers and soldiers, and other problems prevalent in the society.
"I strongly believe that films do leave an impression on everyone. No book can move you the way a film does. I remember films like 'Teesri Kasam' and 'Ganga Jamuna' that have left an impact on me," Malik said.
In the valedictorian ceremony, Blaise Harrison-directed French film "Particles" won the biggest award of the evening, the Golden Peacock. This is also Harrison's directorial debut.
Filmmaker Lijo Jose Pellissery scored his second consecutive Best Director award for the Malayalam film "Jallikattu". Last year, Pellissery received the award for another critically-acclaimed movie "Ee Maa Yau".
IFFI Best Actor award (Female) went to Usha Jadhav for Marathi film "Mai Ghat: Crime No. 103/2005".
IFFI Best Actor award (Male) went to Seu Jorge for "Marighella". The Brazilian langauge film is the directorial debut of "Narcos" star Wagner Moura, who collected the award of Jorge's behalf.
Best Debut Film of a Director Award/ Silver Peacock was shared by Marius Olteanu, director of Romanina film "Monsters" and Amin Sidi-Boumedine for Algerian film "Abou Leila".
Pema Tseden's Chinese film "Balloon" won the the Special Jury Award this year, while National Award winning Gujarati language film "Hellaro" received a Special Mention.
Director Sanjay Pooran was recognised with the ICFT UNESCO Special Mention for "Bahattar Hoorain" and the ICFT UNESCO Gandhi Medal was awarded to Riccardo Salvetti for his Italian language film "Rwanda".
In his melodious voice, veteran singer Hariharan took the evening ahead, performing his hits like "Sakhi Re Kahe", "Ye Aaine Se", "Dheemi Dheemi" from "1947 Earth", "Tu Hi Re", and others.
He was later joined by Leslie Lewis, with whom he formed popular band Colonial Cousins back in 1994.
"It is so special to be here in Goa at IFFI in front of all these wonderful people. It's been 25 years since we formed the band. We are still brothers, still friends," Lewis said.
The duo then performed on their cult hit songs such as "Sa Ni Dha Pa" and "Krishna Ni Begane Baaro".
Festival director Chaitanya Prasad said the 50th edition of the movie gala was "immersed and submerged in cinematic excellence".
"It was a dream that began many months ago. A dream to live up to the expectations of people, to stand together as far as excellence of cinema is concerned...
"We've had a cinema platform that has united India with the world, bringing together the best of cinema, to enjoy cinema and to take cinema forward," Prasad said.
A dance group performed on the theme of 'Ek Bharat, Shrestha Bharat', which was composed by Shankar. The dancers performed on compositions of Anand Shankar, Taufiq Qureshi and Tarun Bhattacharya.
The ceremony was hosted by actors Sonali Kulkarni and Kunal Kapoor.

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First Published: Nov 28 2019 | 8:30 PM IST

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