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People of Lonavala come together to support LIFFT India 


While doctors of Shraddha Hospital were on call for the festival in case of any medical emergency, Rashna Irani of Cooper's donated boxes of their mouth-watering chocolate walnut fudge for all winners and delegates.

Lesle Lewis performing at LIFFT India 2017. Photo: LIFFT India

Sukhpreet Kahlon

LIFFT India 2017 Awards and Filmotsav came to an end with an awards ceremony that saw many big wins for small films. The ceremony began with musical performances by Vidya Shah, followed by a rocking performance by Lesle Lewis, who performed his not-yet-released original compositions.

Giving much needed encouragement to independent cinema, the range of winners included films like Lathe Joshi, which won the Award for Best Feature Film, Best Director, as well as the Best Supporting Actor (Female) Award; Mango Dreams which won for Best Supporting Actor (Male) and Best Screenplay; Parched which won several awards including one for the Best Ensemble Cast, Best Cinematography and Best Costume. Children’s film Pinti Ka Sabun by Pramod Pathak, Rahul Chitella’s Azaad, and Raja Sen’s Maya Mridanga, were also amongst the winners. 

LIFFT India Awards: Marathi film Lathe Joshi adjudged Best Feature

In an extraordinarily heartwarming gesture, the people of Lonavala came together to offer their whole hearted support to LIFFT India. Dr Anjana Shah and her husband, who run Shraddha Hospital, were the doctors on call for the festival in case of any medical emergency. In a magnanimous gesture, they decided to gift the famous Lonavala chikkis to all delegates and even instituted a special award at the festival, for a film that dealt with issues of female infanticide or raised awareness about the girl child. 

Dr Anjana Shah (R) of Shraddha Hospital

As a green festival, LIFFT India presented plants instead of bouquets to the winners of the awards. These plants were generously presented by Ashok Gupta of Om Nursery and Nadini Chandana Ratna, residents of Lonavala. 

Any visit to Lonavala is incomplete without Cooper’s mouth-watering fudge. Rashna Irani, the third generation owner of this iconic shop donated boxes of their chocolate walnut fudge to all winners and delegates. The support of the locals was made even more memorable as they had not only participated in the festival of the arts, but also became involved in their own way. 

There were several conversations that took place at the festival as issues ranging from the acceptance of digital distribution platforms and the future of traditional film distribution methods to the casting couch and the fear of being typecast by actors. Through the choice of films, the festival laid emphasis of offbeat films that took a critical look at society and some of its most pertinent issues.

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The inclusion of a range of children’s films was unique as the festival invited children from local orphanages to view the films, offering them a rare opportunity and exposure. This was a touching gesture by a festival that is constantly redefining the idea of a festival of the arts — in its ideology as well as execution. By taking up the allied arts — painting, photography, theatre, literature, music, dance; and not just concentrating on films, LIFFT India has distinguished itself from other film festivals in the country.

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We wish LIFFT India continues to grow every year and is successful in its endeavour to become a landmark destination for the lovers of arts.

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