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Iranian film wins Golden Peacock at IFFI

By Frederick Noronha, IANS

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Iranian film "Shahre Ziba" (Beautiful City), directed by Asghar Farhadi, was awarded the Rs.500,000 ($11,000) Golden Peacock here Thursday on the concluding day of the 35th International Film Festival of India (IFFI).

Thai movie "Beautiful Boxer" by Ekacha Uekrongtham won the Rs.250,000 ($5,500) Silver Peacock, while Russian film "Old Woman" and Iranian actor Faramarz Gharibian won Special Jury prizes, also worth Rs.250,000.

This year's jury, headed by south Indian filmmaker Mani Ratnam, included German Oscar winner Florian Gallenberger, Italian film critic Irene Bignardi, noted African artist and musician Moussa Sene Absa and popular Egyptian actor Mahmoud Kabil.

Goa meanwhile got its own prize, with Information & Broadcasting Minister Jaipal Reddy promising to hold the festival here again next year.

The 11-day event showcased some 200 movies under the "Cinema of the World", "Indian Panorama", "Asian Competition", "Mainstream Cinema", "Retrospective", "Tributes" and "24X7" sections.

Fifteen movies participated in the Asian Competition section, including two each from India, China, Israel, Russia and Sri Lanka and one each from Bangladesh, Hong Kong, Iran, Malaysia and Thailand.

The category "24X7" was to encourage budding filmmakers. Youngsters below 24 were given just a day to make films, which could be of 24 seconds to 24 minutes in duration.

A special by-invite-only screening of the Hollywood blockbuster "Alexander" was screened on the lawns of a luxury hotel of the Taj group.

More shows were held along the Miramar beach, just outside the city.

Earlier in the day, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar sat through the initial part of "Sood" (Revenge), one of the two Konkani films being screened after a 25-year gap.

Parrikar said hosting IFFI had helped clean up parts of Panaji and provided an impetus to Konkani films.

But some, including pop star Remo Fernandes, have criticised the event and lamented the money spent on it.

Bollywood stars and regional film stalwarts also made their presence felt on the last day.


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