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IFFK 2017: Newton wins FIPRESCI Best Film and NETPAC Best Asian Film awards


The Lifetime Achievement award at the 22nd International Film Festival of Kerala was presented to veteran Russian filmmaker Alexander Sokurov.

Sanju Surendran receiving the prize for Best Debut Director from TM Thomas Isaac. Photo: Murukesh Iyer

Anita Paikat

The 22nd edition of the International Film Festival of Kerala concluded yesterday with dignitaries like AK Balan, minister for welfare of scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and backward classes, law, culture and parliamentary affairs; Dr TM Thomas Isaac, minister for finance, veteran filmmaker Alexander Sokurov; KM Kamal, chairman and festival director; Bina Paul, artistic director of the festival, in attendance.

Though the festival began on a sombre note, with the cyclone Ockhi hitting the state only a few days prior, there was no dearth of people attending the eight-day event. According to Bina Paul, about 11,000 delegates watched over 190 films from all over the world.

The state of Kerala enjoys a rich historical artistic culture. In keeping with the tradition, minister AK Balan announced the construction of an IFFK film complex that will include an open theatre, convention centre, theatres for screening films, and an office for the Kerala State Chalachitra Academy. The 10-acre project will cost the government about Rs10 billion.

Further, state finance minister Thomas Isaac spoke of the importance of exposing the people of the state to various forms of art. “With the ascent in communal violence, we are experiencing a peculiar situation where artists are threatened,” he said, noting that cinema is the most powerful tool to protest. To build people’s understanding of and exposure to parallel cinema, the minister shared his plan of constructing 100 modern theatres across the state that would be dedicated to 'parallel' or 'art' cinema.

The Lifetime Achievement award was presented to veteran Russian filmmaker Sokurov. Accepting the honour, Sokurov praised the festival, saying, “For a person 22 years is not much, but for a festival [to run for 22 years] is an achievement. The most important thing is to work together and listen to each other."

The closing film of the festival was to be the one that wins the Golden Crow Pheasant award for Best Feature Film. The award was presented to Palestinian director Annemarie Jacir for Wajib from the International Competition section. The trophy is accompanied by a cash prize of Rs15 lakh which is to be shared by the director and the producer. The full list of winners is given below.

FIPRESCI Awards

Best Film — Newton, directed by Amit Masurkar

Best Malayalam Film — Aedan (Garden Of Desire), directed by Sanju Surendran

NETPAC Awards

Best Asian Film — Newton, directed by Amit Masurkar

Best Malayalam Film — Thondimuthalum Drisakshiyum (Booty And The Witness), directed by Dileesh Pothan

International Jury Awards

Special Mention — Candeleria, directed by Jhonny Hendrix

Rajatha Chakoram for Best Debut Director — Sanju Surendran for Aedan (Garden Of Desire)

Rajatha Chakoram for Best Director — Anucha Boonyawatana for Malila (The Farewell Flower)

Audience Prize Rajata Chakoram — I Still Hide To Smoke, directed by Rayhana

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