IFFI: Golden Peacock for Donbass, Pellissery is Best Director, Chemban chosen Best Actor

Chemban Vinod receiving the Best Actor (Male) award for the Malayalam movie ‘Ee Maa Yau’, at the closing ceremony of the 49th International Film Festival of India (IFFI-2018), in Panaji, Goa on November 28, 2018.
Chemban Vinod receiving the Best Actor (Male) award for the Malayalam movie ‘Ee Maa Yau’, at the closing ceremony of the 49th International Film Festival of India (IFFI-2018), in Panaji, Goa on November 28, 2018.
Donbass, directed by Sergei Loznitsa has won the coveted Golden Peacock Award at the 49th International Film Festival of India (IFFI), which concluded here on Wednesday.
Lijo Jose Pellissery got the Best Director and Chemban Vinod the Best Actor awards for the Malayalam film Ee.Ma.Yau. 
The Golden Peacock Award carries a cash prize of Rs 4 million to be shared equally between the producer and the director, along with a trophy and the citation.
Donbass tells the story of a hybrid war taking place in a region of Eastern Ukraine, involving an open armed conflict alongside killings and robberies perpetrated on a mass scale by separatist gangs. In Donbass, war is called peace and propaganda is uttered as truth. 
A journey through Donbass unfolds as a series of curious adventures. This is not just a tale of one region or a political system; it is about a world lost in post-truth and fake identities.
Donbass is the official submission of Ukraine for the 'Best Foreign Language Film' category at the 91st Academy Awards in 2019. It was selected as the opening film in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival. At Cannes, Sergei Loznitsa won the ‘Un Certain Regard’ Award for Best Director.
The Best Director Award went to Lijo Jose Pellissery for his Malayalam film ‘Ee.Ma.Yau’. The film is a stunning satire on death and how it affects human lives. Set in Chellanam, a coastal village in Kerala, the film shows the plight of a son who tries to arrange a worthy funeral for his father; he is however met with unpredictable obstacles and reactions from different quarters. 
The Best Director gets the Silver Peacock Award and a cash prize of Rs 1.5 million. Lijo had also won the Best Director Award at the 48th Kerala State Film Awards for the same film.
The Best Actor (Male) Award has gone to Chemban Vinod for his portrayal in Ee.Ma.Yau of ‘Eeshi’, a son who tries to arrange a worthy funeral for his father but is faced with unpredictable obstacles and reactions from different quarters.
The Best Actor (Female) Award has gone to Anastasiia Pustovit for her portrayal of a ‘Larysa’, a teenage girl in the Ukrainian film ‘When the Trees Fall’.
Both Best Actor (Male) and Best Actor (Female) are honoured with the Silver Peacock Trophy and a cash prize of Rs 1 million each.
Milko Lazarov walked away with the Special Jury Award for his film ‘Aga’; the film focuses on the story of Sedna and Nanook, an elderly couple from Yakutia and the particular challenges they face in the midst of a frigid landscape. 
The Special Jury Award carries a cash prize of Rs 1.5 million (Rs 15 lakhs), a Silver Peacock Award and a citation.
Alberto Monteras II received the Centenary award for ‘Best Debut Feature Film of a Director’ for his Filipino Movie ‘Respeto’. 'Walking with the Wind', directed by Praveen Morchhale, won The ICFT –UNESCO Gandhi Medal instituted by the International Council for Film, Television and Audiovisual Communication, Paris and UNESCO. 
The criteria for the Gandhi Medal reflect UNESCO’s fundamental mandate of building peace in the mind of men and women, particularly human rights, intercultural dialogue, promotion and safeguard of the diversity of cultural expressions.
‘Walking with the Wind’ tells the story of a 10-year-old boy in Himalayan Terrain, who mistakenly breaks his friend’s school chair. His daily seven km long journey to school in mountainous terrain on a donkey turns mammoth and challenging when he decides to bring the chair to his village.
‘Los Silencios’, the Portuguese, Spanish movie directed by Beatriz Seigner got the special mention under ICFT-UNESCO Gandhi medal category.
Salim Khan, the celebrated actor, story-screenplay-dialogue writer of Hindi films was honoured with the IFFI 2018 Special Award for his Lifetime Contribution to Cinema. The prestigious award consisting of a cash prize of Rs 1 million (Rs 10 lakhs), Certificate, Shawl and a Scroll has been conferred upon the master filmmaker for his outstanding contribution to cinema.
Salim Khan revolutionized Indian cinema in the 1970s, transforming and reinventing the Bollywood formula, pioneering the Bollywood blockbuster format, and pioneering genres such as the masala film and the Dacoit Western.
Later, the valedictory ceremony for the 49th edition of International Film Festival of India (IFFI), Goa was held at the Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Indoor Stadium, in Taleigaon. 
Union Tourism Minister K J Alphons was present at the ceremony, along with a host of dignitaries from the political and cinematic landscape. Goa Governor Mridula Sinha, Punjab Governor V P Singh Badnore, Union Minister of State for AYUSH Shripad Naik; Minister for Town and Country Planning, Goa, Vijay Sardesai; and I&B Secretary Amit Khare were amongst those present. 
Indian film celebrities Anil Kapoor, Rakul Preet, Chitrangada Singh, Diana Penty and Keerthi Suresh walked the red carpet, adding to the colour and glamour of the star-studded evening.
Several renowned film personalities such as IFFI 2018 Lifetime Achievement Awardee Dan Wolman, Member of Parliament Manoj Tewari, Anil Kapoor, Arbaaz Khan (son of master screenwriter Salim Khan), Indian Panorama Jury Chief Rahul Rawail, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra and Kabir Bedi too attended the closing ceremony.
Stating that the 49th edition has been a great success, Khare said that film bazaar has elicited a response from various countries across the world. Israel was the focus country and Jharkhand the state focus. 
Noting that the preparations for the golden jubilee celebration of the festival next year has begun, the Secretary said the government would like to showcase the film culture of each and every region of the country and trace the history of IFFI. 
The facilities at Goa would be enhanced, given the overwhelming response received from film-lovers, he added. 
Over the past nine days, more than 220 movies from 67 countries were screened at IFFI. While the festival opened with the world premiere of English film ‘The Aspern Papers’, the world premiere of German film ‘Sealed Lips’ marks the conclusion of this festival bonanza. 
As many as 26 feature films and 21 non-feature films were screened in the Indian Panorama section. While Israel was the focus country, Jharkhand was the focus state this year. This is for the first time that any state was made focus state at IFFI. 
Veteran Israeli filmmaker Dan Wolman was given the Lifetime Achievement Award at the opening ceremony. Another new section at IFFI this year was the screening of six Indian sports biopics as an extension of the Khelo India initiative.
In the International competition section, 15 movies were screened, out of which three were Indian. Festival Kaleidoscope section carried 20 critically acclaimed international films that have been to major film festivals and the majority of them being multiple award winners. World Panorama section had 67 films which are specially curated for the festival. 
It included 4 World Premiers, 2 International Premiers, 15 Asia Premiers and 60 India Premiers. This year World Panorama section presented 15 films which are Oscar submissions from their respective countries.
At Master classes and In-Conversations, a host of film personalities interacted with delegates. Two movies, Sholay and Hichki, were also screened at this year’s IFFI as part of a special package for visually impaired persons. 
Retrospective section of Ingmar Bergman in connection with his birth centenary celebration was another speciality of the festival. 

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