The second edition of Guwahati International Film Festival came to a close on October 31 at the Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra in Guwahati. Over the course of seven days, the film festival witnessed a record number of footfalls of more than 10,000 cine lovers. The organisers had to stop all forms of registration on the second day itself.
The 7-day extravaganza between October 25-31 screened over a hundred films – an exclusive array of finest Asian, Arab, Mediterranean, European and Northeast Indian cinema which also includes India premiere of the Jahnu Barua directed Assamese film Bhoga Khirikee, among others.
The closing ceremony was attended by cultural affairs minister of Assam, Naba Kumar Doley. Padmashree Saji N Karun attended the occasion as chief guest.
In his concluding speech, minister Doley said that the film festival besides creating a platform for international filmmakers to network and promote their work, has also been the forum for many immerging filmmakers of the region. He also emphasised upon the fact that the festival was also an attempt to forge connections between cultures and facilitate international contact between filmmakers and students striving to incite fruitful collaborations at the intersection of cinema, arts and business.
Earlier, an elated Pabitra Margherita, chairman of Jyoti Chitraban in his welcome speech thanked the Assam government for its tremendous support to the second edition of GIFF. He also expressed gratitude to chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal for the encouragement and much needed impetus to the event. “This is a union of film enthusiast and film personalities from around the world, aiming to promote local talents in filmmaking and to foster cross-cultural collaboration. It was the chief minister who aspired to give student filmmakers the opportunity to interact and exchange views with renowned national and international filmmakers and thus the ‘open forum’ for discussion and the ‘master classes’ became a significant part of the festival. Consequently local school & college students were enrolled into the fold to witness and exchange views and ideas,” he said.
Margherita added that the Assam government has accorded approval for holding a Short Film, Documentary and Children’s Film Festival very soon.
Festival director Monita Borgohain in her speech has said that the second edition of GIFF was special because of the participation of ASEAN countries. “This edition of GIFF was special. We not only got the cooperation from all 10 ASEAN countries but also the presence of ambassadors and envoys from Serbia, Argentina, Latvia, Myanmar, Lithuania, Estonia have certainly boosted our spirits and encouraged us to eye bigger goals in the future,” she said.
The chairperson of the jury Monju Borah declared the results of the competition section. Special Jury Award for individual with a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh went to Arun Nath for his performance in the film ‘Calender’; Silver Camera with a cash prize of Rs 1.5 lakh went to ‘Kaaneen – A Secret Search’; and the Golden Camera with a cash Prize of Rs 2 lakh went to Arup Manna’s film ‘Aamrityu- The Quest’. The Jury’s Special Mention Award went to Partha Hazarika for his performance in the film ‘Kaaneen- A Secret Search’.