Chilean filmmaker Marcela Said’s film – Los Perros- was adjudged as the ‘Best Film’ in the concluding session of 23rd Kolkata International Film Festival, which held during November 10-17 in Nandan, the art adda of Kolkata. The film, which is based on complicated friendship between a Chilean woman and her riding instructor, received a cash prize of Rs 51 lakh from West Bengal’s Panchayat Minister, Mr Subrata Mukherjee. The film festival, which screened more than 140 films in the week-long festival, was concluded with a glitzy event, in the presence of Bengal Film fraternity and participating International filmmakers. ‘Looking through’ the films, cinema aficionados loved, liked, shared and tweeted their expressions during the carnival of moving images.
State ministers, Mr Aroop Biswas and Firhad Hakim who came to encourage filmmakers’ creative energy, appreciated Bengal’s taste for cinema and hoped the next edition of festival can be made in a bigger canvas. Special guests – Biswajit Chatterjee & Moushumi Chatterjee- handed over prizes to winners of various categories’ of awards. The eight categories of awards were – documentaries, short films, Indian language films, best direction, best film and innovation in moving images.
Iceland-based filmmaker Asa Helga Hjorleifsottir has been declared as the Best Director for his film ‘The Swan’ and awarded a cash prize of Rs 21 lakh. ‘Kupal’, a film from Iran, and ‘Birds are Singing in Kigali’ have been awarded with the Jury Special Mention Award on Innovation in Moving Images.
The six time participant, Dr Bijukumar Damodaran finally earned his first award for his film ‘Sound of Silence’ and presented with the Hiralal Sen Memorial award. Whereas Nabin Subba’s film ‘Goodby Karmandu’ received the Netpac award. ‘Chahat ke Gubbare’ of Amritanghsu and Mrityubhoj- ‘The Death feast’ of Akanksha Sood Singh received best short film and best documentary film respectively. KIFF recognised UK as the focus country for this edition and shown the country’s 13 films, besides showing 81 short films, 51 documentaries and 8 language films of various countries. The best part of this KIFF is an influx of as many young filmmakers participating in the event.
Nandan, the city’s art & culture hub, witnessed hundreds of cinema-lovers walking-in to get a glimpse of bride-like decorated campus. People of all ages seemed frenzied in clicking selfies and videos to memorise their expressions. However, most eye-balls caught the attention of displayed movie camera titled as ‘Looking through’ that has been used by ace directors like Satyajit Ray and Ritwik Ghatak, and the wall of fame that saw names of all-time stalwart directors from across the world.
The one of its kind festival was inaugurated on November 10th by West Bengal Chief Minister Smt Mamata Banerjee and Bollywood celebs like Amitabh Bachhan, Shah Rukh Khan, Kamal Khan, Mahesh Bhatt, accompanied by Tollywood actors.
Although, KIFF has promised to come up with more enthusiasm and energy to make the next edition much bigger, filmmakers have firmed up to portray larger canvas of moving images that will find a place in people’s hearts.