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Homechevron_rightEntertainmentchevron_rightIFFI 2023 concludes;...

IFFI 2023 concludes; ‘Endless Borders’ wins Golden Peacock, 'Kantara' bags Special Jury Award

IFFI 2023 concludes; ‘Endless Borders’ wins Golden Peacock, Kantara bags Special Jury Award

Panaji: The Persian film ‘Endless Borders’ by Abbas Amini has bagged the Golden Peacock for Best Film at the 54th International Film Festival of India (IFFI), which concluded here on Tuesday.

The nine-day festival concluded with a grand closing ceremony and the announcement of the awards at the Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Indoor Stadium in Panaji on Tuesday evening.

A total of 15 films comprising 12 International and 3 Indian films competed for the prestigious Golden Peacock.

Veteran filmmaker Shekhar Kapur was the Chairperson of this year’s international competition jury which also included Spanish cinematographer Jose Luis Alcaine, French film producers Jerome Paillard and Catherine Dussart and Australian film producer Helen Leake.

An emotionally charged narrative set against the backdrop of an Iranian teacher's odyssey amid the turmoil ignited by the rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan, ‘Endless Borders’ intricately delves into the complexities of prejudice, moral dilemmas, and forbidden love.

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The jury praised the film's ability to transcend physical and emotional borders, lauding director Abbas Amini's courageous storytelling.

In a citation, the jury said, “The film is about how complicated physical borders might be yet nothing can be more complicated than the emotional and moral borders that you impose upon yourself. Film festivals, after all, are about crossing borders and in the case of this film, the director has crossed political borders at the cost of his own freedom.”

Bulgarian director Stephan Komandarev won the Silver Peacock for Best Director for ‘Blaga’s Lessons’, Pouria Rahimi Sam was honoured with Silver Peacock for Best Actor (male) for his nuanced acting in ‘Endless Borders’, while Melanie Thierry was awarded Silver Peacock for Best Actor (Female) for her seamless expression of a wide spectrum of emotions in ‘Party of Fools’.

Kannada actor and filmmaker Rishab Shetty bagged the Special Jury Award for ‘Kantara’. The film, released in 2022, explores the conflict between tribals and encroachers in a fictional village in Dakshina Kannada.

Kurdish filmmaker Reger Azad Kaya received the Best Director Award for Debut Feature Film for ‘When the Seedlings Grow’. The film portrays a day in the life of a yoghurt seller and his daughter and how their paths intersect with a lost boy, against the backdrop of the conflict in Syria.

Comedy drama Panchayat Season 2 won the inaugural OTT Award for Best Web Series. The category has been introduced in IFFI to acknowledge and encourage India’s thriving streaming sector.

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Hollywood actor-producer Michael Douglas was bestowed the Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement Award at the closing ceremony of the film festival. The award was presented by Goa Chief Minister Dr. Pramod Sawant along with actor Ayushmann Khurrana.

Douglas attended the closing ceremony of IFFI with his wife and fellow actor Catherine Zeta-Jones and their son Dylan.

Jury Chairperson Shekhar Kapur said that every film was taken seriously while judging them for the coveted awards.

"It is so difficult to make a film. You have a script, nobody wants to listen to your script... then you get someone to listen to your script... then we say where the money is going to come from, then you find money and work for years trying to get a film made. So every film deserves all the attention," Kapur said, highlighting how important it is to take every film seriously.

"Why is the film festival important? In the context of what is happening in the world right now... It is very important to tell our stories, because our stories are who we are... and if you tell our stories to people and they listen to our stories across borders, then people will understand each other. Films ultimately tell who you are, what your culture is," he said, adding that one needs to find human beings in every story and share the stories through platforms like IFFI.

Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister Sawant said the response to IFFI has been overwhelming, with thousands of delegates participating in it.

“With the lush green forests, rivers and waterfalls, Goa is a filmmaker's paradise. When it comes to film locations, we have got a streamlined system for film shootings and hassle-free permits,” he said.

With inputs from agencies

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