Panaji: Russian director Andrey Zvyaginstev's survival drama 'Leviathan' won the coveted Golden Peacock award while Marathi movie 'Ek Haazarachi Note' bagged the centenary trophy for best film at the 45th International Film Festival of India (IFFI), which concluded here today.
'Leviathan' star Alexel Serebriakov shared the best actor award with Dulal Sarkar of 'Chotoder Chobi'. Both the actors received the honour from Minister of State (Information and Broadcasting) Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore and Jackie Shroff.
Dulal dedicated the award to the community of dwarfs.
"We request people to never underestimate us. We also request people not to abuse and make fun of us. We just want love," said Kaushik Ganguly, director of 'Chotoder Chobi' while speaking on behalf of Dulal.
The best actress award was shared by two international stars, who both played teachers in their respective films.
Cuban actress Arina Rodriguez won the award for her role in the Cuban-Spanish movie 'Behaviour' while Israeli actress Sarit Larry won the trophy for 'The Kindergarten Teacher'. The award was presented to the actresses by Union Defence minister Manohar Parrikar and veteran actor Nana Patekar.
"It has been my dream to come to India. Indians are very much appreciated in Cuba. I will be leaving tomorrow but my heart will always remain in India," Rodriguez said.
The award for best director went to Nadaf Lapid for 'The Kindgarten Teacher'. The director is best known for his movie 'Emile's Girlfriend', which was critically acclaimed at Cannes in 2006.
'Ek Hazaarchi Note', set against the backdrop of farmers' suicide in Vidharba region of Maharashtra, created history at IFFI by winning the centenary and special jury award (for debutante director Shrihari Sathe).
The Lifetime Achievement award was presented to Hong-Kong filmmaker Wong Kar-wai, known for his films like 'In the Mood for Love', 'Ashes of Time' and 'Chungking Express'. The noted director dedicated the recognition to his wife Chan Ye-cheng.
"I am humbled and honoured that my movie 'The Grandmaster' is the closing film at the festival. It's a great honour and surprise. I hope it is not a sign for me to retire," Kar-wai said.
The grand closing ceremony, attended by Ramesh Sippy, last year's centenary award winner Waheeda Rehman, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, Entertainment Society of Goa Vice President
Damodar Naik and Divya Dutta among others, came to an end with a soulful performance by singer Zubin Garg, who beautifully brought out the culture of the seven states of Northeast.
The festival began on November 20 with megastar Amitabh Bachchan and Tamil Superstar Rajinikanth in attendance. Rajinikanth was given the centenary award for Indian film personality.
China was the focus country at IFFI which had 12 movies from the neighbouring country being screened. The festival had 178 films from 79 countries including some of the award-winning titles from Cannes, Berlin and other festivals.
The festival had 20 international and 91 Indian premieres including the Panorama section.
In the International cinema section, films by twelve master filmmakers were screened, while the festival kaleidoscope showcased 20 films. A special section on documentaries comprising six films was also the highlight of the festival, while in the 'Soul of Asia' section seven films were shown.
The festival opened with Iranian filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf's film 'The President', about a dictator who comes face-to-face with the people he previously subjugated.
The festival paid tribute to departed legends of cinema including Robin Williams, Richard Attenborough, Zohra Sehgal, Suchitra Sen and Farooq Shaikh by screening some of their works.