The 54th International Film Festival of India (IFFI), Goa, concluded on Tuesday with Hollywood veteran Michael Douglas accepting the Satyajit Ray lifetime achievement award for excellence in cinema.
Previous winners of the award include Martin Scorsese, Bernardo Bertolucci, Dilip Kumar, Carlos Saura, Krzysztof Zanussi and Wong Kar-wai.
“It’s a tremendous honor to receive this award, a career life achievement. When I heard about the award, my family and I were elated,” said Douglas, who was accompanied by wife Catherine Zeta Jones and their son Dylan Douglas. The two-time Oscar winning actor said that his favorite Indian films are “RRR,” “Om Shanti Om” and “The Lunchbox.” The award was conferred during the festival’s closing ceremony by Bollywood actor Ayushmann Khurrana and Pramod Sawant, chief minister of Goa.
At the festival’s international competition, the jury, presided over by veteran filmmaker Shekhar Kapur, awarded best film to Abbas Amini’s Rotterdam-winning Iranian film “Endless Borders.” The film also picked up the best male actor gong for Pouria Rahimi Sam. France’s Melanie Thierry won best female actor for “Party of Fools” (aka “Captives”). Bulgarian Director Stephan Komandarev won best director for “Blaga’s Lessons,” which previously won three major awards at Karlovy Vary.
Indian actor-director Rishabh Shetty won the special jury award for “Kantara,” India’s sleeper hit of 2022. Syria’s Reger Azad Kaya won the best debut feature award for “When the Seedlings Grow.” Singapore’s Anthony Chen won the ICFT-UNESCO Gandhi Medal for “Drift,” which premiered at Sundance earlier this year.
The festival’s inaugural best web series award for streaming content went to Season 2 of Prime Video’s “Panchayat.” Season 1 of SonyLIV’s “Rocket Boys” earned a special mention.
Delivering a video message during the closing ceremony, India’s minister for information and broadcasting Anurag Thakur reiterated the National Film Archive’s pledge a made at last year’s festival to restore 5,000 classics of Indian cinem.
Speaking about cinema during a time when the world is beset by conflict and war, Kapur said: “Our stories are who we are. Stories are fundamentally about being human. Being human is our fundamental aspect. If we tell our stories to each other, people will listen across borders and understand each other.”
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