New Delhi: The 9th Osian Cinefan, which turned out to be the largest fete of Asian and Arab cinema in the region concluded 29th night at New Delhi’s Siri Fort Auditorium, screening its 140th film, Cut and Paste by Egypt’s Hala Khalil.
Meanwhile, the jury comprised of Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Thailand), Francois da Silva (France), Hala Khalil (Egypt), Saeed Mirza (India), and Wu Tianming (China). First Features Jury had Amir Muhammad (Malaysia), Anurag Kashyap (India), and Min Byung-lock (Korea). Indian Features jury had Bianca Taal (Netherlands), Dorothee Wenner (Germany), Nick Deocampo (Philippines), Peggy Chiao Hsiung-Ping (Taiwan), and Rupa Ganguly (India). The Fédération Internationale de la Presse Cinématographique (FIPRESCI ) Jury had Chris Fujiwara (USA), Klaus Eder (Germany), and H N Narahari Rao (India), while the Network for Promotion of Asian Films ( NETPAC) Jury had Asoka Handagama (Sri Lanka), Kenji Ishizaka and Tiina Lokk (Estonia).
Award for best film in Asian-Arab Competition went to Desert Dream directed by Zhang Lu, Korea-France coproduction. An ethnic Korean, the director now lives in China and the film is on the theme of desertification and is based on the border of Mongolia and China.
Lotfi Abdeli received Best Actor award for his role in the Tunisian film Making of by Nouri Bouzid. He was also the film’s cinematographer. The movie probed deeper into the making of the character’s psyche and also won the Special Jury award.
Cherry Pie Picache received Best Actress award for her sensitive and difficult role in the film Foster Child from Philippines directed by Brillante Mendoza . It was about orphaned children who are sent to foster homes before adoption.
The Iranian film Lonesome Trees by Saeed Ebrahimifar on the loneliness of senior citizens shared the Special Jury Award.
Best Indian Film
Award for Best Indian film went to the Tamil Paruthiveeran directed by Ameer Sultan which is an inter-caste love story set against backdrop of the warrior Thevar clan in Tamil Nadu. Priyamani bagged best actress award for the film, also starring Karthik.
Best Actor award went to Kay Kay Menon for his role in Hindi film Shoonya (Zero Zone) by Arindam Mitra which explores guilt, honour and paranoia of a life in the public domain. Kay Kay also starred in Strangers by Anand Rai which had its world premiere at the Fest.
Special Jury Award
First feature-length film to be shot in the icy and hostile regions of Ladakh, Frozen by Shivajee Chandrabhushan made is in Hindi and Ladakhi. It starred well-known actor Danny Denzongpa who received a Special Jury Award.
Best Feature Film Award
Woven Stories of the Other about an inter-tribal war and the threat of extinction won the Best Film Award for debutante Sherad Anthony Sanchez of the Philippines who has for the first time stepped into making features after earlier making some shorts.
First Features Jury made a Special Mention for the Iraq-Kurdistan co-production Crossing the Dust made against backdrop of American intervention in Iraq by Shawkat Amin Korki who stepped into making features after several short films.
The NETPAC Jury chose Malaysian film Dancing Bells by Deepak Kumaran Menon which looks at social and urban issues confronting ethnic Indians who may face racial segregation.
International Critics Award
International Critics Award by FIPRESCI jury went to Thaliand’s Ploy by Pen-ek Ratanaruang from the Asian-Arab Competition section which is a psychological tale of persons locked inside one hotel room.
Lifetime Achievement Award
Renowned critic and author Tadao Sato of Japan was conferred the annual Lifetime Achievement Award for promotion of Asian cinema. Sato is one of Japan’s most versatile and prolific writers on cinema. Author of more than 130 books, he has been editor and with his wife Hisako, publisher of several movie magazines. He is currently President of the Japan Academy of Moving Images and Director of the Focus on Asia Fukuoka International Film Festival.
Over 300 international and Indian guests and an audience of 60,000 feasted on films from India, Vietnam, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia and Algeria, amongst others. Many shed light on nature of their struggles and political and social fallout.
An innovative section, Filmcraft, showcased and debated upon films that highlighted a specific aspect of film practice. This programme will be curated every year and will present the point of view of a practising filmmaker/artist. This year, the accent was on Cinematography.
With inputs from Taru Bahl