42nd International film festival India 2011 ends on a satisfactor
International film festival India 2011 opened with a bang in Goa’s Margao with Bollywood’s Badshah Khan, Shahrukh present for the inauguration along with Union Minister for Information & Broadcasting Ambika Soni. Other prominent faces seen for the inauguration were Actress Rituparna Sengupta, Chief Minister of Goa Digambar Kamat, Mayor of Margao Ms Susheela Naik, Secretary I&B ministry Uday Kumar Varma, Chief Secretary Goa Sanjay Shrivastava, Festival Director Shankar Mohan and CEO of Entertainment Society Manoj Shrivastava. During the ceremony CM Kamat said that Goa is a right choice for a global cinematic event like IFFI. He said that Goan Government would strive to make Goa a permanent and a desirable destination for film shooting for which he has already established a one window clearance system.
Life Time Achievement Award was presented in IFFI after 10 years. This award was conferred upon a French Film maker Bertrand Tavernier during the inaugural ceremony. A Portugal film “The Consul of Bordeaux” was screened for the opening. It was much liked by audience and so the audience was given bonus of its repeat shows on the next day of the festival.
Movies like ‘Karmayogi’ & ‘Adaminte Makan Abu’ were in great demand amongst the film enthusiasts. Karmayogi, an upcoming Malayalam movie is based on the Shakespearean play ‘Hamlet’ and is directed by V.K. Prakash. It has renowned Actors Indrajith Sukumar and Padmini Kolhapure as its lead actors. ‘Compulsory hell mate’, a humorous short film of Director-Producer Mithunchandra Chaudhari and Oscar winning producer Hugh Welchman’s animation movie ‘The Flying Machine’ were also amongst the appreciated films of the fest.
Remembering the legendary actors, singers and artists like Mani Kaul, S.Ramachandra, Jagjit Singh, Shammi Kapoor, Bhupen Hazarika, M.F.Hussain, Samir Chanda, Chidananda Dasgupta and Jagmohan Mundhada IFFI 2011 paid homage to them, admiring them for their skills, talents and contribution to the Hindi Film industry.
IFFI 2011 seemed to have adopted a friendly atmosphere as it amused the audience with the section “Soccer in Cinema”. This section screened 7 movies based on the game of Football in Panji’s Campal Football ground. The festival also associated itself with the Indian tourism ministry’s Incredible India campaign. Screening women centric films like ‘The Lady’ and ‘In The Name Of Taii’ only added more charm to the festival.
Bringing in the nuances of famous film director Phillip Noyce IFFI screened his movies ‘The Quiet American’, ‘Backroads’, ‘Catch a fire’, ‘Clear and Present Danger’ and ‘Newsfront’ in the retrospective section. By screening the films on Rabindranath Tagore the retrospective section brought in cultural harmony.
Many critically acclaimed movies were screened in IFFI this year and were appreciated for the efforts by filmmakers to bring forth such magnificent work of art. ‘Another Planet’ by Ms. Smita Bhide won the prestigious Golden Lamp Tree Award. The Silver Lamp Tree award went to ‘Crazy Beats Strong Every Time’ Directed by Mr. Moon Molson. The Special Jury Award was conferred upon the movie ‘Khule Darwaze’ while the Special Jury Award for the Goan Film was given to the movie ‘Anthony Gonsalves – The Music Legend’ Directed by Mr. Ashok Rane. The “Vasudha Award” for the Best Film on Environmental Issues was given to ‘A Pestering Journey’ directed by Shri. K. R. Manoj.
It was really commendable that IFFI opened its arms to the tender social issues by screening the movies like Janam, Aagazh and Parvaaz, showing the emotions and the troubles of the families and children with special needs. These films brought the film fraternity and the audience face to face with the needs and situations of such children.
Though the film fest was able to pull in national media, its attention diluted soon after the inauguration ceremony. It is therefore a need that the International film festivals like IFFI take into account such matters so that the festival spreads its lore across the country and across the globe. Few years back when the festival venue used to be Delhi, the national media coverage this festival attracted was phenomenal. This scene continued even when the event venue was changed from Delhi to Goa. However, soon after a year or two national media lost interest and turned a blind eye and a deaf ear to the happenings of the festival. Presence of Doordashan was felt but the presence of other national channels’ was quiet minimal. I hope the organizers realize this and take appropriate measures to retain the national media attention.
Media comforts were taken care off in the ‘film village’ which was a residential area consisting of tents set up for the Media fraternity. These tents had all the comforts that would be necessary for an individual’s stay. The media centre developed for the convenience of media, lived upto the satisfaction of media. It also provided internet connectivity. However, the centre failed to provide for the WiFi connection which caused a great difficulty if one had to use their Laptops.
The audience response for the movies screened was very positive. The movies in demand were running houseful but to secure tickets for such films was a great worry for the media as well as the audience. Had the Film fest organizers paid heed to such problems faced by the audience and screened the popular films at least twice or thrice, audience troubles would have lessened.
A tragic incident that shook the film fraternity was the sudden death of Brazilian documentary director Oscar Marron Filho. Filho who suffered Cardiac arrest during an interactive session took his last breath in a local hospital. Festivities were suspended for a day and two minutes’ silence was observed when the report of his death reached across the city.
As much as fame the festival attracted it was also subject to controversies. R. Madhavan a veteran Bollywood star who was in Goa to attend felicitation of his co-star from ‘3 idiots’ was denied from entering the event and soon left the venue after having waited for few minutes. Yet another controversy erupted when a documentary film maker Guarav Chabbra sued the Entertainment Society. Since his film ‘Inklab’ could not secure a censor board certificate it was ruled out of the competition. However, IFFI announced this when Chabbra, after spending his time, energy and money, had reached Goa! Such controversies erupt only because of the careless attitude which organizers adopt. It is therefore necessary that appropriate steps are taken at every level in order to avoid such miseries.
‘The Lady’, an English film directed by acclaimed French Director Luc Besson was screened on the closing ceremony. Awards were distributed on this occasion. The much coveted Golden Peacock award for the Best film went to the Columbian film ‘Porfirio’ directed by Alejandro Landes and produced by Franciso Aljure; while the Silver Peacock Award for the Best Director went to Asghar Farhadi for his film ‘Nader and Simin-A Seperation’. The Indian film ‘Adaminte Makan Abu’ won the Special Jury Award and Director of the film Salim Ahamed received the Silver Peacock award along with a Certificate and a Cash Prize of Rs. 15 Lakh. The Best Actor award along with the price money of Rs.10 lakh went to the Israeli actor Sasson Gabay for his role in the film ‘Restoration’ whereas the Best Actress Award was won by Nadezhda Markina for her role in ‘Elena’.
The presence of Bollywood personas throughout the festival was overwhelming; with SRK inaugurating the event and Madhuri inaugurating the feature film section -Indian Panorama. The other stars seen having a gala time in the festival were Jackie Shroff, Abhay Deol, Kalki Koechlin, Anurag Kashyap, Farah Khan, Zoya Akhtar,etc. Freida Pinto along with the cast and crew of ‘Trishna’ attended the festival.
However, the celeb crowd was very less rather almost absent for the closing ceremony. To compensate for this the organizers roped in the South Cinema‘s Superstar Suriya and Hollywood actress Michelle Yeoh for the closing ceremony. Along with them, the Chief Minister of Goa Digambar Kamat, the Union Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Choudhury Mohan Jatua and Festival Director,Shankar Mohan were also present.
Though the festival closed with a bang just like it had started, yet there remained clichés which showed their prominence and stood in the way of making the fest a truly successful and a memorable film festival.