21st KIFF Completes Annual Hat-trick Of Surprises
Sudipto Mullick | November 28, 2015
Previous to last year, Kolkata International film festival, took to technology in a big way – last
year gping competitive and this year they championed rare regional lingua franca, in a
separate category of its own, termed ‘India Unheard. Films in Rava (Orong), Konkani
(Enemy?), Kodava (Kanathare Kambule Theditari), Nepali (Taandro), Tulu (Vishada Male) and
Ladakhi (Migchoo) were featured.
Incidentally there were two other categories titled ‘Indian Select’ and ‘Asian Select’ as well
whereby one was privy to major-language Indian (12 in number) and Asian films, including
1out of total 6, from this sub-continent in the later.
Continuing to be competitive in its second year too, the woman-exclusive participation that
had created quite a stir had fortified further. Submission received for award considerations
went north – 121 films, up from 72 of previous year. Out of the lot 14 selected films were in
the final fray. Woman directors representing Canada, Colombia, France, Hungary, Italy,
Netherlands, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Tunisia (collaborated with France & Belgium),
Turkey (jointly with Germany) and Yemen vied for ‘The Royal Bengal Tiger Award Trophy’.
The award for the best film which comes with a kitty of 51 Lacs, easily the highest prize-
offering in cinema in the country as well as 21 Lacs for best director, a sizeable sum for any
measure went to the Hungarian film ‘The Wednesday Child' (Dir: Lili Horváth) and
Colombian filmmaker Libia Stella Gomez for her film, ‘Ella’, respectively. Yemen's ‘I Am
Nojoom, Age 10 And Divorced' directed by Khadija Al- Salami,received special mention.
Talking about prizes ‘Indian Select’, mentioned earlier were also competitive but without
the benefit of a heavy purse. Best film, ' Last Page' (Kannada), ‘won the trophy, instituted by
NFCA. It’s a new introduction from this year and any stimulus, specially a win in a
competition, will go a long way for the recipient, Nikhil Manjoo. It is similar to the NETPAC
category which is celebrating its 25th year in this festival and was won by Blanka’ (Japan,
Philippines and Italy) directed by Kohki Hasei .
Prize money of 1 Lac each were there though, introduced from this year, for best
documentary and short-films, scalped by ‘Phum Shang' (directed by Manipuri filmmaker
Haobam Paban Kumar) and ‘Randi Kuripukkal’, respectively.
This year’s contemporary package was no less salubrious with films made in 2015 by heavy-
weights like Philippe Garrel (In the Shadows of Women), Otar Iosseliani (Winter song),
Alexander Sokurov (Francofonia), Margarethe Von Trotta (The Misplaced World), Jafar
Panahi (Taxi), Taviani Brothers (Wondrous Boccaccio), Paolo Sorrentino (Youth), Naomi
Kawase (An), Takashi Miike (Yakuza Apocalypse), Pavel Vuckovic (Panama), Kim Ki-duk
(Stop), Carlos Saura (Spain), Tsai Ming Liang (Afternoon), in the fray. Then there was 381
minutes of Miguel Gomez’ ‘Arabian Nights’ alongside 2014 films of Krystoff Zanussi (Foreign
Body) and Nanni Moretti (My Mother).
Besides there what's the perennial ‘Great Master’ section this time dedicated to the great
Jean Renoir with the ‘Tribute’ belonging to Manoel De Oliveira whose 2012 film Gebo and
the Shadow was included for screening. Both had six films against their name in the
schedule. Apart from ‘Focus On Hollywood, there were also ‘Films On Sports’ , actor-based
‘Centenary Tribute’ and ‘New Horizon’, whatever that means.
Great films demand good viewing facilities and to that end KIFF had scored another
first – that of a 4K projection system. To put things in perspective Mumbai has only 3 units
of these. “By installing this system, we will be able to show certain movies that we earlier
could not”, Yadav Mondal, CEO, Nandan headset earlier. He had also added “We have
gathered 149 films by 137 directors from 61 countries spread in 15 sections to be screened
across 12 venues in the city over 8 days. Out of the lot there are total 23 Indian movies.”