GUWAHATI: After much hype, the 2nd Guwahati International Film Festival (GIFF)-2018, organized by Jyoti Chitraban in association with Dr. Bhupen Hazarika Regional Government Film & Television Institute (DBHRGFTI) under the Department of Cultural Affairs, Government of Assam came to an end on Wednesday, drawing its curtains on all the glitz and glamour at the Srimanta Sankardeva International Auditorium, Srimanta Sankardeva Kalakshetra.
The GIFF-2018, kicked off on October 25, mesmerized more than 100 internationally acclaimed filmmakers, actors and film personalities from all over the world. The closing day of the GIFF-2018, one of the largest film festivals in India, was marked by the screening of the multi-award winning film, Black Crow (Turkey) directed by Muhammet Tayfur Aydin.
The GIFF-2018 was marked by the screening of more than 100 international films from more than 40 countries. Other notable films screened during the GIFF-2018 are Bhoga Khiriki (Assamese), In the life of music (Cambodia), Miracle (Lithuania), Comic Sans (Croatia), Ballad from Tibet (China), The man who looks like me (Estonia), The Pagan King (Latvia) and many others.
Attending the closing ceremony of the GIFF-2018 as the chief guest at Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra auditorium on Wednesday, Padmashree Shaji N. Karun said, "I am very happy to see the bud of a new tradition here in Guwahati in connection with the Guwahati International Film Festival. Earlier, cinema was confined to limited platform to promote and market. However, these days, there are multiple medium like social media, theatres, commercial cinema halls and other festivals which have been strengthening the promotion and marketing of films."
Karun, India's most celebrated filmmakers at the global stage, observed that the increased participation of foreign and domestic films, delegates, student visitors, besides others indicate great accomplishment of the GIFF. "After 20 years, GIFF will be India's largest film festival," he said.
In his short speech delivered during the closing ceremony, Estonian Ambassador to India, Riho Kruuv said that 104-year-old Estonian cinema has a lot to share with India, particularly with Assam. Recollecting that he started viewing cinema at his very tender age, the Estonian Diplomat said, "When we talked of Indian cinema in Estonia those days, we understood and could watch only the Bollywood cinemas."
The Diplomat further said, "In the early years, only three types of movies were screened in Estonia – Estonian films, Soviet Union propagated war films with Estonian sub-titles and Bollywood films. People of Estonia were not enlightened beyond Bollywood. However, Krruv said, "After attending the very first and second editions of the GIFF, we could realise that Assam is also one of the power-houses of film making. Hence, through GIFF, people of Assam and Estonia can now onwards share their culture, society and tradition in a bigger way."
Attending the closing ceremony, Deputy High Commissioner and Counsellor of Singapore, Ng Boon Yian said that Singapore is very young in filmmaking. Hence, India is much richer in terms of cinematic stories to tell the world.
Yian said, "However, a lot of economic development has been going on between India and Singapore in accordance with the Act East Policy. GIFF is the start of a beautiful relationship between India and Singapore."
Stressing that Guwahati has been turning a hub for development, Yian further said, "Direct air connectivity between Guwahati and Singapore will strengthen the relationship between Singapore and Assam."
The closing ceremony was also graced by State's Cultural Affairs Minister Naba Kumar Doley.
The Minister, in his concluding speech, said that the Film Festival besides creating a platform for international filmmakers to network and promote their work, has also been the forum for many immerging filmmakers of the region. He also emphasised the fact that the festival was also an attempt to forge connections between cultures and facilitate international contact between filmmakers and students striving to incite fruitful collaborations at the intersection of cinema, arts and business.
Earlier, Pabitra Margherita, Chairman of Jyoti Chitraban in his welcome speech said, "This is a union of film enthusiasts and film personalities from around the world, aiming to promote local talents in filmmaking and to foster cross-cultural collaboration." Margherita has also announced that the Assam Government has accorded approval for holding a Short Film, Documentary and Children's Film Festival very soon.
The Chairperson of the jury and eminent filmmaker, Mrs. Monju Borah declared the results of the Competition Section. Special Jury Award for Individual with a cash prize of Rs.100,000/- went to Arun Nath for his performance in the Film 'Calendar'; Silver Camera, 2nd Best Feature Film of North East, with a cash prize of Rs. 150,000/- went to 'Kaaneen – A Secret Search'; and the Golden Camera, the Best Feature Film of North East, with a cash Prize of Rs. 200,000/- went to Arup Manna's film 'Aamrityu- The Quest'. The Jury's Special Mention Award went to Partha Hazarika for his performance in the film 'Kaaneen- A Secret Search'. Other Members of the Jury are Mr. Mathieu Roy and Mr. Golam Rabbany Biplob.