The 51st edition of International Film Festival of India, which is taking place from 16-24 January 2021 in Goa, will capture the new narratives that have emerged in cinema today, said Chaitanya Prasad, Additional Director General, Directorate of Film Festivals, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting. Amidst COVID-19, the IFFI Team has been working hard collaborating and curating films for the festival.
“We are trying to get or capture the new narratives that have emerged in cinema today, whether it is storytelling, storytellers, new business models or the use of technology. Today it is content versus technology, technology versus creativity, and creativity versus audience taste. And what we are looking at is a kind of a convergence model which is emerging. I think it is a very bold step as far as the International Film circuit is concerned because we are trying to bring forth a balance between the virtual and the real,” said Prasad in his special address at the Curtain Raiser of IFFI 2021, held during CII Big Picture Summit.
The Festival will take place in a hybrid mode, informed the Additional Director General, Directorate of Film Festivals. “It’s a very bold move on part of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting which has given us a go ahead to organize this festival in a hybrid form. Now, the hybrid form means that we would have certain segments which would be in the virtual category, and there would be certain segments which would be in the physical mode,” he added.
Prasad said that he was elated at the overwhelming response the organizers received for the 51st edition of IFFI. “We are absolutely overwhelmed by the kind of response that we have received in terms of delegate registration that has come to us from different parts of the world and the kind of participation that we have seen because we thought it would be difficult to get things moving.”
The 9-day IFFI, which is also oldest in Asia, will showcase the works of a wide variety of filmmakers across the world with masterclasses and knowledge series in accordance with the norms set under the COVID-19 safety protocol.
“Indian Panorama has its own quality and platform of Indian cinema. But as far as World Cinema is concerned, this year we’ve been overwhelmed by the number of films that have come for the India Premiere, the world premiere, and the International premiere, etc.
He announced that the upcoming edition of IFFI roughly about 224 movies will be screened. “Of this, about 47 movies would be in Indian Panorama section, 26 in the feature section, 21 in the non-feature section, while the remaining are for the world cinema section,” Prasad said.
“It’s been a great experience putting the jigsaw puzzle together and we are absolutely inspired by the kind of response that we have received from all stakeholders across the world,” he added.
The 51st International Film Festival of India (IFFI) has unveiled the lineup of international films that will compete in the competition section during nine-day festival beginning January 16. IFFI competition picks comprises the best of feature film from all over the world.
The selected 15 films (three Indian films and 12 international films) will compete for the Golden Peacock (Best Film) as well as Silver Peacock Awards for Best Director and Best Actor (male and female).
Three Indian films, Assamese film Bridge by Kripal Kalita, Chhattisgarhi language film A Dog And His Man by Siddharth Tripathy and Ganesh Vinayakan”s Tamil film Thaen have made to the international competition section from India. All these three films are part of Indian Panorama selection.
A total of 224 films will be screened under different sections at the 51st edition, which will be organised in a hybrid format in the wake of the pandemic.
Golden Peacock carries a cash prize of Rs 40 lakh while the best director award has a prize of Rs 15 lakh. The best actor award (male and female) entails a cash prize of Rs 10 lakh each.
COMPLETE LIST OF 51st IFFI EDITION COMPETITION FILMS
The Domain by Tiago Guedes (Portugal)
The chronicle of a family that owns one of the largest estates in Europe, on the south bank of the River Tagus. The Domain delves deeply into the secrets of their homestead, portraying the historical, political, economic and social life of Portugal, since the 1940s, through the Carnation revolution to these days.
Through a family and the relation between father and son, the film describes the dilemmas of the Danish population during World War 2. Like the government, the farmers and the industry, the father, a successful owner of a big electronics factory, tries to make the best of the situation in order to “keep the wheels rolling”. However, this leads him into a problematic collaboration with the Germans. His son, on the contrary, reacts against the increasing oppression and persecution of Jews and communists by joining the rising resistance movement.
February by KamenKalev (Bulgaria, France)
We follow the life of a man at eight, eighteen and eighty-two years old: in his village, outside the village, in the heat of the sun and the icy snow. The course of his monotonous life seems to be written in advance and meaningless. And yet an invisible force exists in him and in a mysterious way pushes him forward, towards death.
Upcoming actor Jérémie is going through an existential crisis. Pathologically jealous and plagued by romantic, professional and familial misadventures, he flees Paris to reset in the country with his mother – who turns out to be more than a little invasive…
I Never Cry by Piotr Domalewski (Poland, Ireland)
After learning about the death of her father, a builder working abroad, the seventeen-year old Ola has to travel to Ireland to bring his body back to Poland.
Anchored by rising star Mariana di Girolamo, La Veronica is a provocative un-fairy tale, revealing what could be the ugly reality behind the fantasies of social media celebrities. The camera is always focused on the face of the protagonist, as if studying her expression, striving to find the truth, and trying to understand her twisted inner mind.
Light For The Youth by Shin Su-won (South Korea)
A young man works at the bond collection call center. He is polite, pure and sincere at a glance. On the other hand, the director of the center is not. The director’s daughter is having a hard time preparing for a job. Light for the Youth revolves around these people. At the beginning of the movie, the young man and the director of the center seem to meet each other accidentally on the rooftop, a resting place, and easily succeed in communicating regardless of the difference in rank. However, a big incident soon happens to the young man who visited a house to collect bonds, and the situation quickly falls into a state of thrill and tragedy.
Red Moon Tide by Lois Patiño (Spain)
As he proved in his previous works, including Coast of Death and Night Without Distance, films that take place on borders between countries, or between life and death, Spanish filmmaker Lois Patiño is singularly brilliant at creating transfixing, ghostly images of enormous power. With Red Moon Tide, he has made his most haunting film yet, a journey into a phantom world, set on Spain’s Galician coast, where Rubio, a diver who retrieved bodies from shipwrecks, has gone missing. The small seaside community, made up of both the living and the long deceased, mourn his absence, in a series of exquisitely composed tableaux that turn images of everyday lives into the mythical.
Dream About Sohrab by Ali Ghavitan (Iran)
Ali Qavitan, the independent director of the Iranian cinema, has decided to make a film about Sohrab Sepehri, a contemporary Iranian painter and poet, due to his apparent resemblance to him.
The Dogs Didn’t Sleep Last Night by RaminRasouli (Afghanistan, Iran)
In a remote area in Afghanistan, stories of the lives of a young shepherdess, a birdcatcher boy and a mourning teacher are intertwined after their school is burnt down. The young shepherdess takes the risk of saving a woman US soldier after a helicopter crash; the birdcatcher boy takes shelter in a tank with the birds, the pin-ups and the illegal music that he loves; and the mourning teacher seeks vengeance on the one who has widowed her…
Hearing-impaired teenager Chang Cheng transfers to a school for children with special needs. However, the world of the hearing-impaired doesn’t seem quiet at all. When he witnesses the “game” taking place in the last row on the school bus, his excitement about blending into school turns into fear.
The Forgotten by Daria Onyshchenko (Ukraine, Switzerland)
Nina, 30, a Ukrainian language teacher who can’t leave the city of Luhansk, occupied by separatists in Eastern Ukraine, is forced to undergo retraining courses for teaching Russian. Andrii, 17, is a student who was orphaned in the aftermath of the war. They cross paths when Nina witnesses Andrii being arrested by the police after hanging the Ukrainian flag from the roof of his school. Nina knows that because they live in a world of injustice and lies Andrii can stay in jail for a long time, and she risks her life to free him. As they gravitate towards each other, they try to remind people in the occupied territories that they deserve a future, too.
Bridge by KripalKalita (India)
The film is set in Assam and portrays the story of Jonaki, a strong and independent woman who endures a lot in her life at a young age.
The 51st International Film Festival of India will open with the Indian premiere of the Denmark film Druk internationally known as Another Round directed by Thomas Vinterberg.
The Danish nominee for the Best International Film at the Oscars will be screened on January 16 after the formal inaugural of IFFI in Goa. Another Round, Vinterberg’s 110 minute film is a sobering comedy about aging, alcoholism, and friendship between men.
IFFI will also have the World Premier of Sandeep Kumar directed Mehrunisa as a mid-fest film.
The closing film at IFFI will be the India Premier of the historical drama ‘Wife of a Spy’ by Kiyoshi Kurosawa on 24th January. The Japanese film bagged Silver Lion for Best Director at Venice International Film Festival.
IFFI will take place in hybrid format from January 16-24 with social distanced physical screening, digital screenings, press conferences and industry talks. A total of 224 films from across the globe will be screened during IFFI. This includes 21 non-feature films and 26 feature films under the Indian Panorama films section.
Another Round, Top Oscar 2021 Foreign Film Contender
Starring Mads Mikkelsen, Lars Ranthe, Magnus Millang and Thomas Bo Larsen, Another Round won Best Film – the first time a Danish film has won that category in the European Film Awards .
Mikkelsen won the Best European Actor award for his portrayal of lead character Martin, a school teacher who sets out to test a theory that he will improve his life by maintaining a constant level of alcohol in his blood.
Vinterberg, won the Best European Director award and the Best European Script along with Tobias Lindholm.
Another Round was produced with support from Film i Väst (SE), Danish Film Institute (DK), TV2 Denmark (DK), Eurimages, Netherlands Film Fund (NL), Swedish Film Institute (SE), Netherlands Film Production Incentive (NL) and Creative Europe MEDIA programme. TrustNordisk is the sales agent of Another Round.
Vinterberg has previously made himself known for films such as Festen (1998) which won the Cannes Film Festival’s jury award and was nominated for Palme d’Or and Golden Globe, Submarino (2010), Jakten (2012) which was nominated for an Oscar and Kollektivet (2016) which was in the main competition in Berlinale.
Mehrunisa, lead role played by 87-year old Farrukh Jaffar
Starring Farrukh Jaffar (Umarao Jaan, Swades, Peepli Live, Sultan, Secret Superstar, Photograph, Gulabo Sitabo), Tulika Baneejee and Ankita Dubey, Mehrunisa directed by India-born Austrian filmmaker Sandeep Kumar narrates the story of a woman’s lifelong dream.
“To achieve her lifelong dream, an 80 year old actress takes on the male-dominated Indian film industry, and unwillingly becomes a leading advocate for women’s rights,” reads the brief synopsis of the film.
The entire film was shot in and around Lucknow for 25 days with a three-member Austrian crew and all-Lucknow based actors and support crew members.
Wife of a Spy, Venice Film Festival Winner
Cult Japanese director Kiyoshi Kurosawa, best known for his forays into horror and the supernatural, tackles wartime Japan.
Starring Yu Aoi and Issei Takahashi, Wife of a Spy (Spy no Tsuma) follows the story of a couple in 1940 in the city of Kobe before the outbreak of World War II. A man accidentally stumbles upon a state secret and tries to bring it to light, while his wife takes action to ensure his safety.
Kurosawa got recognition and fame internationally with his 1997 horror-thriller Cure. In 2015, Kurosawa received the best director Award in the Un Certain Regard section of the Cannes Film Festival. Tokyo Sonata won the jury prize in Un Certain Regard in 2008.