By Asma Torgal
THE 52nd International Film Festival of India, a nine-day event, came to a close on Sunday, November 28, 2021 with the Union Minister of Information & Broadcasting Anurag Singh Thakur, Chief Minister of Goa Pramod Sawant, CBFC chairperson Prasoon Joshi, actress Madhuri Dixit, actors Manoj Bajpayee and Randhir Kapoor attending the closing ceremony at the Dr Shyama Mukherjee In-door Stadium in Panaji, Goa.
Anurag Thakur’s in his closing speech said, “In a unique initiative aimed at identifying and nurturing young talent, we selected 75 Creative Minds of Tomorrow. I am confident that most of them will come back after a few years not just as a part of the film industry but also as icons of cinema.”
He added, “These 75 youngsters are all under 35 years of age and were selected based on their skills in different fields of film making including screenplay writing, editing, direction, singing. The youngest is a 16-year-old who has skills in film direction.” Thakur added that in time to come India will emerge as a top film shoot and post-production destination, “I invite our foreign filmmakers to shoot (films) in India and take the advantage of our highly skilled post-production facilities.”
CBFC chairperson and lyricist, Parsoon Joshi, was awarded the Indian Film Personality of the Year Award. Actors Madhuri Dixit, Manoj Bajpayee and Randhir Kapor were felicitated for their contribution to Indian cinema. Madhuri Dixit shared her IFFI experiences and said she had attended the festival before and “It is heart-warming to see IFFI provide a global platform for artists and creators to showcase their power through Indian entertainment on a global platform. Bollywood has upgraded over the years and it’s time for women to grab this opportunity to make their careers in the film industry.”
Uttar Pradesh was deemed as India’s most favourable state for film shooting in India. ACS Information Navneet Sehgal received an award from I & B Union Minister Anurag Thakur and CM Pramod Sawant. Sehgal said the UP state government is developing a film city of a 1,000 acres near Noida where India’s largest airport will be constructed.
This IFFI saw five major OTT players incuding Netflix, Amazon Prime, Zee5, Voot, and Sony LIV participating with previews, master classes, virtual events and many film screenings. IFFI played hosted to numerous well-known personalities from the world of entertainment and here’s a list of the winners whose names were announced at the concluding ceremony:

n Jitendara Bhikulal Joshi won a Silver Peacock for Best Actor (Male) for his role in “Godavari”
n Vaclav Kadrnka from Czeck Republic was awarded the Best Director for “Saving the One Who Was Dead” (Russia)
n Angela Molina bagged the Best Actor (female) award for the film “Charlotte” (Spain)
n Japanese film “Ring Wandering” won the Golden Peacock award for Best Film
n Lucia Murat won the Best Director award for Brazilian film “Ana” (as part of 6th BRICS Film Festival)
n Laura Boldorini bagged the Best Actor (female) for her role in “On Wheels” (BRICS)
n Chinese director Yan Han received the Jury Special Mention Award for “A Little Red Flower” (China)
n South African film “Barakat” got the Best Film Award-BRICS
n Director Mari Allessandrini’s “Zahori” bagged the award for Best Debut Feature Film
n Film “Lingui, The Sacred Bonds” won the ICFT-UNESCO Gandhi Medal
Others who spoke included chairperson of the BRICS jury Rahul Rawail, he praised the work of the jury members and “the importance of the world coming together despite the boundaries and differences.” All the jury members were felicitated. The closing ceremony’s evening entertainment was made up of singer Sukhwinder Singh igniting audience mood with his rendition of “Jai Ho,” “Ban than chal,” “Chal Chaiyya Chaiyya,” “Rabba rabba mee barse.” There were the Indian hip-hopping dances of dance group King United with their patriotic “Meri desh ki dharti,” “Mera rang do basanti chola,” “Kandhon se milte hain kandhe” and “Na maangoo heera moti.” The final item number went to B Praak performing “Teri mitti,” “Ranjha” and “Filhaal.”It was an evening of star-studded performance with Sameer Kochar playing host and bringing the entertainment to an end on a Thank-you IFFI 2021 note. All’s well that ends well for the time being at least!

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