IFFI-50 Golden Years of Cinema

admin   January 7, 2021

200-odd films from 76 countries, honouring of legends, slew of landmark films of historical worth from across the world were some of the highlights of IFFI-50

The 50th edition of Asia’s oldest international film festival was a major success. So, what did the International Film Festival of India (IFFI, November 20 to 28, 2019) had in its kitty that separated it from the previous 49 editions? A great deal. And not just in numbers, but also in terms of range and depth.

Packed into the nine-day festival were 200- odd films from 76 countries, which offered cineastes a wide sampling of last year’s most lauded works, besides a slew of landmark films of historical worth from across the world.

The best of contemporary world cinema apart, IFFI 2019 brought to film fans in Goa an impressive array of films from the past, including a package of nine previous winners of the Golden Peacock, the festival’s top trophy that now comes with a cash prize of over $55,000.

The Golden Peacock retrospective included the 1963 winner, Changes in the Village, directed by Lester James Peries, who is regarded as the father of Sri Lankan cinema. Andrey Zvyagintsev’s Leviathan (2014) was also in the segment along with James Ivory’s The Bostonians (1984), Miklos Jancso’s Hungarian Rhapsody (1979), Samira Makhmalbaf’s At Five in the Afternoon (2003) and Sergey Dvortsevoy’s Tulpan (2008). The sole Indian film in the selection of Golden Peacock winners was the Bengali film MonerManush (2010), directed by Goutam Ghose.

Another commemorative segment aimed at underlining the special status of the 50th edition of IFFI was a retrospective of Oscar- winning films. Entries in this section ranged from Casablanca, Gone With the Wind and Ben-Hur to The Godfather, Forrest Gump and The Silence of the Lambs. All About Eve, The Best Years of Our Lives, Lawrence of Arabia and The Sound of Music completed the line-up of Oscar winners.

All eyes were also on the ‘filmmaker in focus’ Takashi Miike, a Ken Loach miniretrospective, wo restored Indian classics (Ritwik Ghatak’s Titas Ekti Nadir Naam and Uday Shankar’s Kalpana) plus Master Frames and Festival Kaleidoscope, sections devoted to films hailed in Cannes, Venice, Berlin and Toronto.

Six films were screened as part of the Takashi Miike retrospective. The package included the relatively mellow The Bird People of China. The other Miikefilms in IFFI are Audition (1999), with which the maverick Japanese director known for his no-holds-barred depiction of violence and sexual excess began to acquire international fame; Ichi the Killer, a manga adaptation that is still banned in several countries; the yakuza thriller Dead or Alive; the samurai film 13 Assassins; and First Love, which played in Cannes Directors’ Fortnight this year.

The 50th IFFI competition had assembled 15 films that gave the five-member jury headed by John Bailey, veteran Hollywood cinematographer and former president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, plenty to choose from. As for the composition of the jury, IFFI had rarely got it better than it has done this time.

The competition line-up included two Indian titles: Lijo Jose Pellissery’s Jallikattu and Anant Mahadevan’s Mai Ghat Crime No. 103/2005.

Among the other films in the IFFI 2019 competition were Pema Tseden’s rural-Tibet set Chinese production Balloon, Ali Aydin’s Turkish entry Chronology, Swiss filmmaker Blaise Harrison’s first fiction feature Particles, Brazilian actor Wagner Moura’s historical epic Marighella, Indonesian director YosepAnggiNoen’s The Science of Fictions and the Slovenian film Stories from the Chestnut Woods, directed by Gregor Bozic.

World Panorama also had the Canadian film Coda, directed by Claude Lalonde. Master Frames brought together 19 films by directors such as Pedro Almodovar (Pain and Glory), Olivier Assayas (Wasp Network), Hirokazu Kore-eda (The Truth, Roy Andersson (About Endlessness), Costa Gavras (Adults in the Room), 377 India’s Only Film BIZ magazine for the world http://www.pickle.co.in Roman Polanski (An Officer and a Boy, Goran Paskaljevic (Despite the Fog), Werner Herzog (Family Romance LLC), Atom Egoyan (Guest of Honour).

A bunch of equally fancied names were part of IFFI’s Festival Kaleidoscope, which showcased films that earned critical accolades in the course of the year. Led by Bong Joon-ho’s Palme d’Or winner Parasite, this section includes several other titles that premiered in Cannes: Mati Diop’s Atlantique, Jessica Hausner’s Little Joe and Celine Sciamma’s Portrait of a Lady on Fire.

Adding yet another dimension to the IFFI experience last year was a one of its kind hi-tech digital, interactive and multimedia exhibition put up by the Bureau of Outreach and Communication and National Film Archives of India (NFAI) at Darya Sangam, near Kala academy.

Named http://IFFI@50 the exhibition traced the journey of IFFI over the last five decades as it showcases Indian cinema to the world while also providing a platform in India for showcasing world cinema. The exhibition leveraged novel hi-tech features like Zoetrope (moving picture creative installation), 360 bullet shot, 360 degree immersive experience area, augmented reality experience, vertical digital display panels, virtual reality tools, hologram technology, etc to create a self-learning historical experience for the viewers.

Amitabh Bachchan inaugurated the Dadasaheb Phalke Award retrospective organised at Kala Academy during IFFI. Speaking at the launch, the veteran actor said, “I feel deeply humbled and would thank the Government of India for this prestigious hnoour. I’ve always felt that I’m not deserving of such recognition but I humbly accept this with a lot of grace and affection”.

Calling cinema a universal medium, Bachchan added that films are beyond the borders of language. The actor expressed hope that we continue to make films that will bring people together.

The Indian Panorama section of the 50th edition of IFFI opened with the screening of National Award winning Gujarati film Hellaro; directed by Abhishek Shah in the feature film category at INOX in Panjim, Goa. A Kashmiri film Nooreh, directed by Ashish Pandey, opened the non-feature film category at Indian Panorama.

The other selections in the feature film category included five Marathi films Tujhya Aaila, Anandi Gopal, Bhonga, Mai Ghat and Photo-Prem. This category also included three films each in Malayalam and Bengali, two in Tamil and one Kannada film.

The feature film category also had a subsection on mainstream cinema, under which popular films like Gully Boy, Uri: The Surgical Strike, Super 30 and Badhaai Ho were screened. Telugu film F2 was also screened under this category.

A session on Oscar Retrospective was held on Day 1 at IFFI Goa. Moderated by Journalist and film critic Naman Ramachandran, the session had the Festival Director, ADG, Directorate of Film Festivals (DFF), Chaitanya Prasad along with the editor of American Film Editor who also worked on the restored version of Casablanca, Carol Littleton.

This year, Russia was the focus country at IFFI. Speaking on the joint production of films and cultural exchange through films, Russian Ambassador to India Nikolay Kudashev said that such efforts will bring the spirit of India and Russia together. Head of Russian delegation at IFFI and Editor in Chief of Kinoreporter Maria Lameshev said that there was a great interest for Russian films among Indian people. She added that according to the coproduction agreement, 40 percent of budget of the film would be given back by the Ministry of Culture.

She extended her support in facilitating meetings for possible co-productions in future. Eight Russian films–Abigail, Acid, Andrei Tarkovsky: A Cinema Prayer, Beanpole, Great poetry , Once in trubchevsk , Why don’t you just die!, and The Hero–were screened in the Country Focus section of IFFI this year.

A joint collaboration between IFFI, Saksham Bharat and UNESCO, the 50th IFFI edition screened three films for those with special needs with an aim to promote the creation of inclusive spaces for the differently-abled through audio description. The section opened with ‘Munna Bhai MBBS’ directed by Rajkumar Hirani. Attending the festival for the first time, actress Taapsee Pannu said that she was surprised to know such films were made. “I’ve not seen films that use audio to explain the scenes; so I wanted to surely see how it’s done,” she said. The other films screened were Lage Raho Munnabhai, M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story and the Konkani film Questao De Confusao with additional narration for the visually impaired.

The 2019 edition of the Open Forum organised by the Federation of the Film Societies of India opened with the pertinent topic: Focus on IFFI @50: Flash Back and Moving Forward. The session was inaugurated by Chaitanya Prasad, Festival Director, ADG, Directorate of Film Festival (DFF), Kiran Shantaram, President, Federation of Film Societies of India, AK Bir, Filmmaker and Chairman of Technical Committee, IFFI 2019, Alexey Govorukhin, Executive Producer, Kinoreporter Magazine, Russia and Marianne Borgo, actress from France.


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IFFI 50 & Fantastic-Lifetime Achievement Award to Isabelle Huppert

admin   November 21, 2019

IFFI is back, this time in a much bigger and better way. For, this year marks its golden jubilee. A lot of interesting things are in store, from special screening for the visually impaired to screening films that have turned 50 and best of Oscar winning movies. Here’s a trailer of IFFI that kickstarts on November 20 in Goa.

The international film festival of India (IFFI) is one of the most-awaited
events for film fanatics, theatre artists, aspiring actors and industry professionals. The film extravaganza brings the best of craft and cinema from across the world, under one roof. Needless to say, besides a chance to witness great cinema, the event is a reservoir of knowledge.

Organised by the government of India, the event is planned and executed by a Steering Committee which consists of industry leaders and big wigs who can be credited with the event’s success. This year, the Steering Committee includes members like Union Minister Prakash Javadekar; Chief Minister of Goa Pramod Sawant; I&B Secretary Amit Khare; Chief Secretary, Goa, Parimal Rai; Vice Chairman, Entertainment Society of Goa (ESG), Subhash Phal Dessai; representatives of the film community including Shaji N Karun, Shri AK Bir, Rahul Rawail, Manju Borah, Ravi Kottarakara and Madhur Bhandarkar; senior officials of Directorate of Film Festivals, Entertainment Society of Goa, I&B Ministry and Goa Government. Besides, Bollywood leaders like Karan Johar, Siddharth Roy Kapoor, Feroze Abbas Khan and Subhash Ghai will also be part of the Steering Committee.

This year, IFFI, slated to happen In Goa from November 20 to 28, 2019, is marking its golden jubilee. The event has got bigger and better this year as it enters its 50th edition.

Internationally acclaimed French actor Isabelle Huppert would be conferred the Lifetime Achievement Award. Huppert, who has worked in films like The Lacemaker, Violette Nozière, La Cérémonie, among others, has appeared in more than 120 films since making her debut in 1971. She is the most nominated actress for the César Award, the national film award of France, with 16 nominations, and has won it twice. She was a regular with some of the most acclaimed filmmakers of the French New Wave, including Claude Chabrol and Bertrand Tavernier.

Like stated earlier, IFFI not just gives you a chance to experience unforgettable cinematic treat, but also provides you a platform to network, learn and enhance your knowledge about the nuances of film making. This year, the event will have multiple masterclasses, In-Conversation sessions and workshops from the industry people from all across the globe. For instance, ace Indian filmmakers Madhur Bhandarkar and Priyadarshan will share their experiences and teach nitty-gritties of film direction, actors like Rishi Kapoor, Anil Kapoor TaapseePannu, Rakulpreet Singh will talk about their career highlights and industry experiences, along with Meghna Gulzar, Imtiaz Ali, Rahul Rawail and others talking about the art of filmmaking. Besides, there’s lots more into these masterclasses.

Besides showcasing 200 landmark films that have been lauded all across the world, the event also has an impressive line-up of previous movies, including the ones that have bagged the Golden Peacock Award.

There is also a section that will showcase incredible Oscar winning movies like the Godfather, Forest Gump, Gone with the Wind, among others.

That apart, special arrangements will be made for the visually impaired to let them also enjoy cinema, along with sections like World Panorama and Kaleidoscope, that will leave cine buffs asking for more.

So, while you have been waiting for the event to begin, with a bated breath, here’s a sneak peek of what this year’s edition has in store for you.

Indian Panorama is a flagship section of IFFI, which showcases the best of contemporary Indian Feature and Non-Feature Films of the years . This year, the Feature Film Jury is headed by acclaimed filmmaker and screenwriter  Priyadarshan . The Jury has chosen the film HELLARO (Gujarati ) directed by Abhishek Shah as the Opening Feature Film of Indian Panorama 2019

Best fiction films from around the globe

Under the section ‘World Panorama’, the event will showcase 64 award-winning feature-length fiction films, that are produced between 1st September 2018 to 31st August 2019, from around the globe. Adam, A First Farewell, far From Us, Give Me Liberty, among others, are some of the films under the section.

The Best of Indian Cinema

IFFI 2019 will be a golden chance for you if you want to witness the best of contemporary Indian Feature and Non-Feature Films of the years. The jury, including industry bigwigs like ace filmmaker Priyadarshan and well-known documentary filmmaker Shri Rajendra Janglay, have chosen films like Hellaro (Gujarati), Pareeksha (Hindi), Ek Je Chhilo Raja (Bengali), Uri : The Surgical Strike (Hindi), Gully Boy (Hindi), Super 30 (Hindi), to name a few, which will be displayed under the section.

Impressive lineup for the ‘Golden Peacock’

The section consists of line-up of extra ordinary work from all across the world, in the run up for the much coveted ‘Golden Peacock’ award. The trophy, that will come along with a cash prize of Rs 40 lakh this time, will be given to one out of 15 movies have been produced and coproduced by 22 countries. Movies that will fight against each other include names like Balloon (China), Antigone (Canada), Jallikattu (India), among others.

Missed Mumbai International Film Festival? IFFI is here to help!

IFFI works hard to showcase the best of cinema to its audience. This year, it will showcase 17 award-winning films, from Mumbai International Film Festival, made in the last 10 years which includes documentaries, short fiction and animation films across the globe including Germany, Russia, Romania, United Kingdom and South Korea apart from India.

Treat for the visually impaired

IFFI aims to reach out as many as people as it can to let them explore and experience the kind of cinema that it offers. And considering movie watching is not easy for the visually impaired, the event has done its bit so that this section of audience doesn’t feel left out. It will organise special screenings of 3 brilliant films; Lage RahoMunna Bhai (Hindi), M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story (Hindi), and Questao De Confusa (Konkani); along with audio description that translates images, visual information or non-dialogue portions of film into spoken words so that visually impaired people can access, and enjoy the films.

Honouring living legend Amitabh Bachchan

The 50th edition will honour megastar Amitabh Bachchan with the prestigious DadasahebPhalke Award, for his stupendous work and immense contribution to the Indian cinema. Highlighting his work, the event will showcase 6 of his films; Deewaar, Badla, Paa, Piku, Sholey
and Black; that made a mark in the world.

Films that have turned 50!

As IFFI marks its Golden jubilee, it has crafted a special section ‘The Golden Lining’ as part of which it will screen best films that have completed 50 years, from across the world. The package includes Films in Odiya, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Hindi, Assamese and Malayalam. Some of the iconic movies to be shown are Aradhana by Shakti Samanta, Satyakam by Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Stree by Siddharth and Nanak Nam Jahaz Hai by Ram Maheshwary, among others.

IFFI also hosts many retrospectives, tributes, master classes and special sections, which enhance the variety and depth of the event. The master classes have emerged as a highlight of the festival, especially for film school students who converge in Goa during the eight-day event

Iconic work by 18 National awards winner Mrinal Sen

This year, a new section‘Indian New Wave Cinema’ is dedicated to 12 films produced in India from the late 1950s to the late 1970s that were distinct in the narrative, style and budget, compared to those being produced in the mainstream cinema. This includes work of filmmaker Mrinal Sen, who has won 18 National Film Awards 18 times, the Padma Bhushan (2008) and the DadasahebPhalke Award.

Indian New wave Cinema Screenings in IFFI 2019

  • Ajantrik (1957)
  • Meghe Dhaka Tara (1960)
  • Bhuvan Shome (1969)
  • Swayamvaram (1972)
  • Ankur (1973)
  • Uttarayanam (1974)
  • Bhumika (1976)
  • Agraharathil Kazhuthai (1977)
  • Thampu (1978)
  • Uski Roti (1969)
  • Duvidha (1973)
  • Tarang (1972)

Date with master filmmakers

Like every year, this year too, the event will bring to you work by master filmmakers, under its section Master frames. The section has the section has 17 films, like By The Grace Of God, Adults in the Room, The Golden Glove, to name a few it by filmmakers of international repute like Pedro Almodovar, Lav Diaz, Xavier Dolan, Dardenne Brothers, Costa Gavras, Wernor Herzog, HirokazuKoreeda, Fatih Akin and more.

Finest work by Ken Loach

The event will showcase some of the finest works by two-time Palme d’Or winner Ken Loach is widely acclaimed across international cinema as an independent filmmaker and documentarian. Some of the landmarks films that will be shows as part of Ken Loach: Retrospective section are Kes, sweet Sixteen, Fatherland, Sorry We Missed You, and more.

Celebration time at IFFI

You missed Oscarwinning movies? IFFI is here for you!

This year, it is Oscar raining at the IFFI. The event has shortlisted the best of Oscar-winning movies to be showcased at the do. These include names like Monos (Columbia), Stupid Young Heart (Finland), Adam (Morocco), Beanpole (Russia), System Crasher (Germany), and many more. Get set to witness the best of world cinema and some of the stellar performances.

Golden Peacock Films of last 49 years!

Golden Peacock award has been a coveted title conferred by IFFI, to the world class cinema. In an effort to let cine aficionados enjoy and witness the stupendous award moving movies, in case they missed any one, the event will showcase all the Golden Peacock movies of the last 49 years under the section Golden Peacock retrospective.

Restoring Indian Classics

IFFI aims to cherish rich cinematic heritage and sharing it with new set of audience and introducing to them the glories of the past. The “Restored Indian Classics’ sections aims the same with showcasing two of the finest Indian films, Kalpana by Uday Shankar and TitasEkti Nadir Naam.

The Best from Asia

This year, IFFI has curated films that have made their mark from across various Asian countries and filmmakers. Titled as ‘Soul of Asia’, the section includes movies like Chinese films Feelings to Tell by Wen LI, Taiwanese film Ten Years Taiwan, Japanese film Ten Years Japan, Wet Season directed by Anthony Chen coproduced by Singapore and Taiwan, and more.

The ‘Gandhian’ film

IFFI, in association, with the International Council for Film, and Television and Audio-Visual Communication Paris (ICFT) will present a UNESCO Medal to a selected film which upholds the values exhibited by Mahatma Gandhi for his immense contribution to the society for preserving peace & non-violence. Indian film BahattarHoorain, along with other movies like Oray, Rwanda and Sanctorum, among others, are in the running for the title.

The power of silence!

Before movies were made with dialogues, films at their nascent stage were released without any dialogues. They still left an impact, solely because of superb acting and emoting skills of the actors, background skills and excellent direction. This year, IFFI will bring back the lost era and mark the stupendous art of filmmaking by showcasing classic silent movies, played with live music. The charismatic experience with be a part of the section ‘Silent Film with Live Music’.

The Syria massacre

Immigration is one of the major problems that we face today. The Syrian immigrant crisis has found cinematic voice through master filmmakers over the last few years as an acknowledgement to this ongoing crisis. IFFI, in its own way, is working to solve the menace. This edition will see the special screening of the film ‘I’m Gonna Tell God Everything’ that narrates the heart wrenching story of Syria between 2011 and 2018.

French Homages

IFFI will pay homage to filmmakers Bernardo Bertolucci and Agnes Varda, who passed away in November 2018 and march 2019. The Dreams and Varda are the two French films that will be screened under this section.

Focus on Takashi Miike

With IFFI going bigger and better the event will this time focus on Japanese filmmaker Takashi Miike by dedicating an entire section ‘filmmaker In Focus’ to him. This will include showcasing five of his finest films like First Love, Ichi the Killer, Audition, Dead or Alive, 13 Assassins. Miike is often considered as one of the most outstanding filmmakers from Asia and around the world with a cult status due to his films often mixing distinctly different genres and creating movies which stand out due to their mind-bending nature.

Debutants like never before

IFFI has always been a platform for budding filmmakers. This year too, it will see the best of debutants showcasing their work and fighting it out to be on the top under the Debutant Competition Section.

20 handpicked world-renowned films

Festival Kaleidoscope, one of the most loved and important sections of the festival, brings hand picked films that have already made a mark in the world. This year 20 such films have been curated from all across the world. So, in case you have missed the ‘not be missed’ cinematic experience, you have a reason to cheer.

Homage

  • APAROOPA (Biju Phukan)
  • BHUVAN SHOME (Mrinal Sen)
  • EK ANEK AUR EKTA (Vijaya Mulay)
  • GANASHATRU (Rama Guha Thakurta)
  • HUM (kadar Khan)
  • HUM APKE HAIN KAUN (Raj Kumar Barjatya)
  • KANOORU HEGGADITHI (Girish Karnad)
  • KRISH TRISH AND BALTIBOY: FACE YOUR FEARS (Ram Mohan)
  • PHOOL AUR KAANTE (Veeru Devegan)
  • RAJNIGANDHA (Vidya Sinha)
  • THE TIDAL (Vijaya Mulay)
  • UMRAO JAAN ( Khayyam)
  • VEYILMARANGAL (MJ Radhakrishnan)

The best from Russia

Every year IFFI features ‘Country of Focus’ by picking up the best cinematic work and contribution of a particular country. This year, the country in focus is Russia. You will get to witness some of the best Russian films like Abigail by Aleksandr Boguslavskiy, Acid by Alexander Gorchilin, Great poetry by AleksandrLungin, to name a few.

The Goan story!

Held in Goa, IFFI, every year, dedicates a section that displays the best work from the Konkan film industry, that has been growing fast in the past few years. This year too, the festival has picked the best Konkani films that have made a mark across the globe. the list includes names like A rainy day, Amori, Digant, and more.

The awards that the competitive festival offers are significant in money terms. IFFI hands out prize money to the tune of US$ 200,000. The winner of the Golden Peacock for the best film takes home $80,000. That apart, the best director and the Special Jury Prize winner bag $30,000 each, while the two acting prizes come with a cash component of $20,000 each

The Best IFFI Jury of this Century

The jury is an integral part of any film festival. And IFFI takes care that it ropes in the best from the industry to judge and select the movies it wants to show. This year John Bailey, Cinematographer and Ex. President of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences will chair the International Jury of 50th International Film Festival of India (IFFI). French filmmaker Robin Campillo who was also a member of the Cannes International Jury 2019, renowned Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yang and Lynne Ramsay, who is one of the leading lights of young British cinema will be the co-jurors. Eminent Filmmaker, Ramesh Sippy is the Indian member in the International Jury.