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  • IFFI 2023: Endless Borders wins Best Film award; Michael Douglas receives Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement Award | Bollywood News

IFFI 2023: Endless Borders wins Best Film award; Michael Douglas receives Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement Award | Bollywood News

After screening 270 international and Indian films, including 25 feature film and 20 non-feature films, the 54th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) concluded in Goa on Tuesday. The closing ceremony of the event saw Endless Borders winning the Best Film Award, the makers of Panchayat Season 2 picking up the Best Web Series Award, actor-director Rishab Shetty bagging the Special Jury Award for his film Kantara and Hollywood legend Michael Douglas receiving the Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement Award.

Best Film: Endless Borders

The Best Film award was given to Persian film Endless Borders, directed by Abbas Amini. The film is set against the backdrop of an Iranian teacher’s odyssey amidst the turmoil ignited by the rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan. It delves into the complexities of prejudice, moral dilemmas, and forbidden love. The jury praised the film’s ability to transcend physical and emotional borders, lauding director Abbas Amini’s courageous storytelling.

Best Web Series: Panchayat Season 2

Panchayat Season 2, which bagged the first-ever Best Web Series (OTT) Award at IFFI, chronicles the life of an engineering graduate who joins as a Panchayat secretary in a remote fictional village of Phulera, Uttar Pradesh, due to lack of better job opportunities. The web series is created by The Viral Fever (TVF) for Amazon Prime Video. It is directed by Deepak Kumar Mishra and stars Jitendra Kumar, Raghubir Yadav, Neena Gupta, Sanvikaa, Chandan Roy, Durgesh Kumar, Ashok Pathak, Faisal Malik and Sunita Rajwar in pivotal roles.

Best Actor (Male): Pouria Rahimi Sam for the film Endless Borders

Actor Pouria Rahimi Sam was chosen as the Best Actor for his role in Endless Borders. The jury chose the actor “for the richness of acting and interacting with his partners, children and adults in challenging shooting conditions”. His nuanced performance as Ahmad, the exiled Iranian teacher navigating ethnic tensions and forbidden love, resonated deeply with the jury.

Best Actor (Female): Melanie Thierry for the film Party of Fools

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French actress Melanie Thierry was honoured with Silver Peacock for Best Actor (Female) for Party of Fools. In the citation, the jury members remarked that award has been given “to an actress whose range of expressions gives us – with subtlety – all the emotions from hope to despair, encountered in her character’s crazy journey.”

Special Jury Award: Rishab Shetty for the film Kantara

Actor-director Rishabh Shetty bagged the Special Jury Award for Kantara. The jury’s citation for Rishabh notes, “For the director’s ability to put across a very important story. The film, though rooted in its own culture of the forest demons, reaches out to audiences regardless of culture and social status.” The actor-director’s film explores the ideological conflict between humans and nature in a fictional village, delivering a poignant message amidst a clash of traditions and modernity.

Best Director: Stephan Komandarev for the film Blaga’s Lessons

Bulgarian Director Stephan Komandarev clinched the Silver Peacock for Best Director for Blaga’s Lessons, a powerful exploration of moral compromise in the face of deceit. The film centres on Blaga, a widow whose moral compass is shaken after falling victim to telephone scammers, highlighting the vulnerable lives of today’s senior citizens in post-communist Bulgaria.

Best Debutant Director: Reger Azad Kaya for the film When The Seedlings Grow

Reger Azad Kaya received the Award for Best Debut Feature Film of a Director for When the Seedlings Grow. The jury cites that the film narrates a tale which succeeds in showing us a day in the life of a father, daughter and a lost boy through a succession of small events. The film is an intimate story of the characters as well as a country and its traumas.

The first film holds a unique charm, and it becomes even more special when accompanied by an award. Congratulations to ‘When the Seedlings Grow’ for securing the Best Debutant Director award at #IFFI54!

Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement Award: Michael Douglas

Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, along with Bollywood actor Ayushmann Khurrana, presented the Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement Award 2023 to Hollywood legend Michael Douglas at the closing ceremony of the film festival. In his speech, Michael remembered the work of Satyajit Ray and said, “I would like to share this honour with PM Narendra Modi, the honourable Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Anurag Thakur. It’s an honour to receive Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement Award. I am humbled to join a prestigious group of past award recipients. Ray personified what it means to be a world class filmmaker.”

He added, “His films not only represent the triumph of the Indian film industry but the potential of the cross-cultural artistic expression. With every think going on in the world today, this festival reminds us the magic of movie making. When you have been in the industry as long as I have, it becomes clear that cinema is one of the few mediums that has the power to unite and transform us. It reveals our true humanity. Today our global language of cinema is more meaningful than ever.”

After his speech, Ayushmann asked Michael if he has watched any Indian films. The actor responded by saying, “I have watched RRR. Om Shanti Om is played in our house over and over again. Lunchbox is one of our favourites. I am also fortunate to have seen Satyajit Ray’s work in college.” Catherine Zeta Jones was also honoured at the closing ceremony of the festival.

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