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Columbian film Porfirio wins Golden Peacock at 42 IFFI

The Competition Jury of the 42nd International Film Festival of India (IFFI), Goa, sprung a big surprise by picking up the Columbian film Porfirio directed by Alejandro Landes and produced by Franciso Aljure for its top prize the Golden Peacock as the Best Film.

The obvious claimant for the top spot Nader and Simin-A Seperation by Asghar Farhadi got the Silver Peacock for Best Direction, a sort of a consolation gesture. The Indian film Adaminte Makan Abu won the Special Jury Award. The Best Actor award of Rs.10 lakh went to the Israeli actor Sasson Gabay for his role in the film Restoration and the Best Actress Award was won by Nadezhda Markina for her role in Elena. Apart from PORFIRIO and ADAMINTE MAKAN ABU, the other award winners picked up their awards in absentia.

The five member Competition Jury consisted of Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Laurence Kardish, Lee Yong Kwan, Tahmineh Milani and Dan Wolman.

The closing ceremony of the 42 IFFI saw the usual parade of politicians, bureaucrats, and inappropriately dressed second-rung Bollywood stars being felicitated on stage, topped by an extremely tacky ‘fusion’ music and dance programme. The presence of the team of the fest’s closing film THE LADY provided a bit of International touch to the event. The team included the film’s director Luc Besson, its lead actress Michelle Yeoh, and the producers Virginie Besson-Silla, and Jean Todt. The southern Indian star Suriya was the chief guest of the evening.

The eleven-day ‘sarkari’ extravaganza seemed to have been designed more to dole out special ‘favours’ to those who are close to the establishment than to celebrate world cinema in a thoughtful and focussed manner. A supposedly international film festival looks more and more like a local affair with politicians using it as a platform to brazenly tom-tom their re-election agenda.