“Bond girl” Michelle Yeoh among galaxy of stars at closing ceremony; Electrifying Remo wows locals
“Bond girl” Michelle Yeoh was among the galaxy of film personalities who provided dazzle to the closing ceremony of the 44th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) here on Saturday evening but there were no cameras chasing her or the other stars who walked the red carpet.
As has been the case from the second day of the festival, it was a hopeless battle for IFFI for media attention for in competition yet again was real life action right in the city; courtesy the Tarun Tejpal case.
With the closing ceremony timing clashing with the pronouncement of the verdict in the case by a Sessions Court, the cameras were too busy tracking Tehelka founder-editor Tarun Tejpal’s day in court. What has been particularly upsetting for the organisers was the fact that this time both the Central and State governments had gone the extra mile to put their best feet forward owing to this being the centenary year of Indian cinema and the 10th edition of the festival in Goa.
Locals — indifferent to the Tejpal case — saved the day with a strong participation at the closing ceremony and they were awarded with an electrifying performance by their very own Remo Fernandes who, in turn, ensured that his repertoire for the evening included more than just Bollywood numbers.
Addressing the ceremony, Union Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting Manish Tewari reiterated his call to the film industry to remain vigilant about forces out to “strangle liberal spaces, impose thought control and medieval mindsets.”
The curtain was rung down on the ceremony and the festival with the award presentations. The Best Film Award — carrying a cash prize of Rs. 40 lakh and the Golden Peacock — went to East Timor’s first feature film A Guerra da Beatriz (Beatriz’s War).
While the Silver Peacock for the Best Actor (Male) went to Alon Moni Aboutboul for A Place in Heaven, Magdalena Boczarska got the one for actresses for the film In Hiding. Kaushik Ganguly got the Best Director award for the film Apur Panchali and the Centenary Award was presented by the ‘Bond Girl’ and veteran Bollywood actress Asha Parekh to Kamleshwar Mukherjee for the film, Meghe Dhaka Tara.