Thiruvananthapuram: Malayalam director R Jayaraj’s film Ottal (The Trap) made history, sweeping all the top awards, including the ‘audience poll’ award, at the 20th International Film Festival of India (IFFK) which concluded here the other day.
Guest of Honour, Kerala Governor Justice P Sathasivam, awarded the coveted Suvarna Chakoram, the Best Film of the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) jury, the Best Malayalam film of the Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema (NETPAC) jury and the audience poll awards to Jayaraj at the closing ceremony held at Nishagandhi open-air auditorium. The Suvarna Chakoram consists of a Rs. 15 lakh cash award, certificate and a memento.
Newcomers Shine Tom Chacko and Kumarakom Vasudevan, a fisherman, got the Jury’s Special Mention for their roles in Ottal.
“It is often felt that Kerala is not only God’s Own Country, but the favourite foster land of a variety of arts, so it is little wonder that it has produced notable names in filmmaking,” said Sathasivam speaking on the occasion. “The film festival provides an opportunity for film lovers to see films from around the world and thereby, get a feel for lifestyles around the world.”
The Rajatha Chakoram for Best Director was awarded to Jun Robles Lana for the Filipino film Shadow Behind the Moon. It consists of a cash award of Rs. 4 lakh, certificate and a memento.
The Rajatha Chakoram for Best Debut Director was awarded to Bangladeshi director Abu Shahed Emon for Jalal’s Story. It consists of a cash award of Rs. 3 lakh, certificate and a memento.
Sanal Kumar Sasidharan’s small-budget film, An Off-Day Game, took the FIPRESCI award for Best Malayalam Film.
Israeli film Yona won the NETPAC Best Asian film award.
The closing ceremony was attended by Leader of the Opposition, V S Achuthanandan, Minister for Cinema Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan and Secretary (Cultural Affairs) Rani George IAS.
Legendary Iranian filmmaker Dariush Mehrjui, whose film package was shown in the festival’s Retrospective segment, was honoured with the IFFK’s Lifetime Achievement Award. The award for lifetime achievement carries a cash prize of Rs. 10 lakh, a memento and an official citation.
Mehrjui presented the Film Employees Federation of Kerala’s (FEFKA) inaugural ‘Master’s award’ to Malayalam filmmaker K G George.