As the sun set over the river Mandovi in Panjim, Goa, the 50th edition of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) rolled out the red carpet for the closing ceremony. The spectacular, star studded closing ceremony brought the eight-day festivities of 200 odd screenings, master classes, in-conversation sessions to a fitting climax. The closing ceremony on 28 November 2019 brought a stellar line up of both the national and international and regional industry's leading names.
Present were Ilaiyaraaja, Japanese filmmaker Takashi Miike, Hindi film director Rohit Shetty, Ramesh Sippy, actress Elena Fernandes, Rakul Preet Singh, Patrycja Planik, actress from Lillian, Curiosa film director-Lou Jeunet, Head of Jury John Bailey and Carol Littleton, jury member Robin Campilo, Prasonjit Chatterjee, Vijay Devarkonda and others.
Dignitaries present at IFFI 2019 closing ceremony were Satya Pal Malik, Governor of Goa; Amit Khare, Secretary, Information and Broadcasting Ministry; Babul Supriyo, Minister of State for Environment, Forests and Climate Change; Pramod Sawant, Chief Minister of Goa along with Deputy Chief Ministers of Goa Chandrakant Kavlekar and Manohar Ajgaonkar; Subhash Phal Desai, Vice-Chairman of Entertainment Society of Goa; Parimal Rai, Chief Secretary of Goa; and Amit Satija, CEO, ESG were also present. The grand finale was hosted by actors Kunal Kapoor and Sonali Kulkarni. The winners of IFFI 2019 were announced the same evening.
Amit Khare announced at the closing ceremony that IFFI 2020 and IFFI 2021 will focus on India's legendary filmmaker Satyajit Ray to mark his centenary celebrations. About the 50th edition of IFFI, Khare said, "I feel elated that this prestigious edition had more than 190 films from 76 countries and 90 Indian premieres. It is a matter of pride that the organisers received 24 Oscar submission films and more than 10000 delegates. I am grateful to the Government of Goa and ESG for making such elaborate arrangements."
Offering insight on the participation numbers CEO, ESG Amit Satija, said, "More than 10000 delegates registered at the 2019 edition."
In terms of international participation, IFFI saw majority delegates from UK, USA, Sri Lanka and UAE. Nationally majority of the delegates came from Goa, Kerala, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. All this was possible because of the paperless ticketing system.
IFFI 50 recognised the industry's leading names like Ilaiyaraaja, Manju Borah, Prem Chopra, Pavan Kumar, Birju Maharaj and Arvind Swami with a special feliciation. Birju Maharaj who wasn't present had sent a recorded message.
Goa CM Pramod Sawant said, ''IFFI has given us another opportunity to bring films not just for entertainment but those with a real strong message for us to introspect. It's an opportunity to learn from the masters and wonderful to have everyone here.''
Supriyo speaking at the festival said, "Today 50 is the new 30 so definitely these are the young years of this great festival and we take great pride that we are joined and supported by luminaries. We have strived to improve our facilities and include women participants and we hope to inspire more women directors in the future."'
Satya Pal Malik spoke about the long-lasting impression films leave on the mind of an individual. He said, "I would like to apologise to each one of you since I am very new to Goa. I have just come from Kashmir so I am still in the hangover of the state. 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."
Here is the winners' list of IFFi 2019:
Golden Peacock: Particles (Directed by Blaise Harrison and Producer Estelle Fialon) (This carries the Golden peacock and a cash prize of Rs 40 lakh.)
Best Debut Film/Silver Peacock: Monsters by Marius Olteanu
Abou Leila by Amin Sidi-Boumediene (This carries a silver peacock, a certificate and Rs 10 lakh.)
IFFI Best Actor Award (Male) - Seu Jorge, for his role in Marigela (This carries a silver peacock, a certificate and Rs 10 lakh.)
IFFI Best Actor Award (Female) - Usha Jadhav, Mai Ghat, Crime No 103/2005 (This carries a silver peacock, a certificate and Rs 10 lakh.)
IFFI Best Director Award - Lijo Jose Pellissery, Jallikattu
Special Jury Award-Balloon, Pema Tseden (This carries a silver peacock, a certificate and Rs 15, lakh.)
Special Mention Award - Hellaro by Abhishek Shah
ICFT UNESCO Special Mention - Bahattar Hoorain
ICFT UNESCO Gandhi Medal - Rwanda by Riccardo Salvetti.
As the awards poured to all the happy recipients the International Film Festival of India was a proudly awarded the ICFT UNESCO Fellini Medal. The UNESCO Gandhi medal for propagating Gandhian values was given to Rwanda directed by Riccardo Salvetti. ICFT Unesco special mention film went to Bagattar Hurrain by Sanjay Pooran Singh Chauhan.
The closing film was Marghe and Her Mother by noted Moshen Makhmalbaf. The team thanked IFFI and spoke about how they were introduced to India through the films of Satyajit Ray.
There were plenty of lighter moments at the closing that set things on a lighter note. Babul Surpiyo set his politician cape aside to return to his music roots with a spontaneous tribute of Ilyeraja's song 'Ae zindagi gale laga le.'
A series of spectacular dance performances choreographed by Tanushree Shankar on the theme of Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bhara that aims at creating an environment to celebrate regional identity took the audience through India's rich traditions.
The 50th International Film Festival of India, 2019 witnessed 26 feature films and 15 non feature films in Indian panorama section. Industry experts for the 35 masterclasses and in-conversation sessions like Ilaiyaraaja, Anil Kapoor, Imtiaz Ali, Rahul Rawail, Wagner Moura, Farah Khan, Takashi Miike, John Bailey and Carol Littleton, Nithya Menen and Rashmika Mandanna, Vijay Deverakonda and Rakul Preet, Meghana Gulzar, Juhi Chaturvedi, Rohit Shetty, and some more shared their journey's with packed.
The new additions this year brought old classics from the past festivals in the Golden Lining section. The sidelines also had the Open Forum sessions that provided a platform for filmmakers and enthusiasts to share and discuss ideas.