IFFI 2023: A Grand Finale with Awards and Celebrations Marking the Festival’s Closure

IFFI 2023 A Grand Finale with Awards and Celebrations Marking the Festival's Closure

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Panaji: The curtains fell on the 54th International Film Festival of India (IFFI), Goa, in a jubilant atmosphere filled with awards and accolades. The honors were diverse, recognizing both international and Indian talent. The prestigious Golden Peacock for Best Film was bestowed upon the Persian masterpiece “Endless Borders,” while Bulgarian director Stephan Komandarev claimed the Silver Peacock for his film, “Blaga’s Lessons.” The Best Actor and Actress awards were secured by Pouria Rahimi Sam (“Endless Borders”) and Melanie Thierry (“Party of Fools”) respectively.

However, the highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement Award to the iconic Michael Douglas, who graced the occasion with his wife, Catherine Zeta Jones. Douglas, in his heartfelt acceptance speech, expressed gratitude to his mentors and dedicated the award to his father, Kirk Douglas. The audience erupted in applause, and Catherine, when invited to speak, shared, “I just wanted to be his wife today, and didn’t expect to come on stage for a speech. It’s an honour to return to India for this recognition.”

Goa’s Chief Minister, Pramod Sawant, lauded the festival’s growth, stating, “I’m overwhelmed by the response. Goa has truly become a hub of cinematic excellence.” Rishab Shetty, whose film “Kantara” received the Special Jury Award, expressed his joy at the film’s success, rooted in his village’s culture. The event also featured a teaser of his upcoming prequel, “Kantara: A Legend Chapter 1.”

Ayushmann Khurrana, emphasizing the importance of local narratives, remarked, “How local, how rooted our stories are, determines how global they get. Rishab Shetty is an inspiration for me.” Shekar Kapur, the international jury chairperson, echoed this sentiment earlier in the ceremony, emphasizing the significance of telling our stories amidst global conflicts.

A delightful surprise awaited the audience when officers of the Himachal police department took the stage for a mini-concert. Dressed in uniform, they showcased vocal prowess while singing patriotic songs, highlighting the power of art on the festival’s final day.

The 54th IFFI provided a platform for films from 78 countries, showcasing the diversity of global cinema. As the festival concluded, it left behind a trail of memories, celebrating the magic of storytelling and the enduring impact of cinema on hearts and minds.

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