Gujarati film ‘Hellaro’ by Abhishek Shah and Malayalam feature ‘Uyare’ by Manu Ashokan will compete with five other films from across the world for the coveted Best Debut Film Award at the forthcoming 50th International Film Festival of India (IFFI).

The Indian representation in the Debut competition is chosen from among the Indian Panorama films of that particular year, and ‘Hellaro’, which had earlier won the Best Feature Film Award at the National Film Awards, is also the opening film of Indian Panorama this year.

Incidentally, there are only three debut films in Indian Panorama this year, the third one being ‘Photo Prem’ in Marathi. Two Indian films represent the country in the Debut Competition every year.

The other films in the competition are ‘Abou Leila’ (Algeria) directed by Amin Sidi-Boumedine, ‘Romang’ (Korea) by Lee Chang-geun, ‘Monsters’ (Romania) by Marius Olteanu, ‘My Name is Sara’ (USA) by Steven Oritt, ‘Cleo’ (Italy) by Eva Cools.

The winner in this category will get a Silver Peacock, a certificate and a cash prize of Rs Ten Lakh, and will be given to a feature film “that reflects a new paradigm in motion pictures in terms of aesthetics, technique or technological innovation”, the organisers have said.

The festival, to be held in Goa from November 20 to 28, will also have a Retrospective of a selection of Golden Peacock Award winning films of past 49 years. The curated section will showcase eight films from eight countries, and will open with Sri Lankan classic ‘Gamperaliya’ directed by Lester James Peries, which, incidentally, was the first Golden Peacock Award winner of 1965.

The other films in the section are ‘At Five in the Afternoon’ (Iran) directed by Samira Makhmalbaf, ‘Moner Manush’ (India) by Goutam Ghose, ‘Porfirio’ (Colombia) by Alejandro Landes, ‘The Bostonians’ (USA) by James Ivory, ‘The King of Masks’ (China) by Tian Ming Wu, ‘Tulpan’ (Kazakhstan) by Sergei Dvortsevoy and ‘Leviathan’ (Russia) by Andrey Zvyaginstev.

Meanwhile, the open air screenings, which attract the locals in big numbers every year during IFFI, this year has the theme ‘The Joy of Cinema’ and several Hindi, Konkani, Marathi films will be screened as part of this initiative.

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About Utpal Borpujari


Utpal Borpujari is a National Film Award winning filmmaker and film critic. He won national award for his debut feature film 'Ishu'.


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