By Utpal Borpujari / Panaji (Goa)
Indian cinema scored big at the 49th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) with Malayalam film “Ee Maa Yau” getting the best director’s Silver Peacock for its maker Lijo Jose Pellissery and lead Chemban Vinod getting the Silver Peacock for Best Actor.
Another Indian film that won big was Praveen Morchhale’s “Walking with the Wind”, which got the ICFT UNESCO Gandhi Award instituted by the International Council for Film, Television and Audiovisual Communication, Paris and UNESCO. “Los Silencios”, a Portugal-Spain coproduction directed by Beatriz Seigner received the special mention in this category.
The most coveted Golden Peacock award of IFFI went to Serget Loznitsa’s scathing Ukrainian conflict drama “Donbass”, while the Silver Peacock for best actor (female) went to Anastasiia Pustovit for “When the Trees Fall”.
Powerful Filipino film “Respeto” by Alberto Montreal, which uses Rap music to send a powerful socio-political message, got the prestigious Centenary Award for Best Debut Film of a Director.
Among other winners were Dominique Fishback and Tatum Marilyn Hall bagged Special Mention (Acting) for “Night Comes On”, and “Aga”, directed by Milko Lazarov, which got a special jury award, and “Volcano” and “To-Let” received special mentions.
The ceremony also saw veteran screenwriter Salim Khan – of the legendary Salim-Javed duo, getting honoured for his lifetime contribution to Indian cinema.
“I want to thank IFFI, Information & Broadcasting Ministry, Government of India for honouring me with Indian Personality for Lifetime Contribution to Indian cinema. I dedicate this award to Indore, my birthplace and Mumbai my workplace, the film industry which has given me everything,” said Khan in a message read out by his son Arbaaz Khan who received the award on his behalf.