'They Say Nothing Stays the Same' and 'Jallikattu' win big at IFFK

'They Say Nothing Stays the Same' and 'Jallikattu' win big at IFFK

Japanese filmmaker Joe Odagiri's debut effort 'They Say Nothing Stays the Same' (Aru Sendo No Hanashi) has bagged the the Suvarna Chakoram (Golden Pheasant) at the 24th International Film Festival of Kerala.

The film, about a rural paradise about to be touched by development, was spoken about at the festival for its near spiritual and radiant images by the cult cinematographer Christopher Doyle, the man behind the impressionistic visuals of global hits like 'Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon' and 'Hero'.

Odagiri, who is also a popular actor and singer back home, was recently feted at Venice for his lead role in Lou Ye’s spy flick 'Saturday Fiction'. Critics in Japan, used to the loud Gothic tastes of Odagiri in music, were taken aback by the contemplative beauty of his film.

In the words of the IFFK jury, it was “a poetic tale of idyllic rural life being threatened by change in an uncompromising visual style.”

Odagiri's film edged out audience favourite 'Jallikattu' to win the big prize. Lijo Jose Pellissery's film, which had won the top prize at the IFFI this year, had to satisfy with the Audience Prize Rajatha Chakoram. Pellissery also won a jury special mention for 'Jallikattu'.

Brazilian filmmaker Allan Deberton won the Rajatha Chakoram (silver pheasant) for the best director for his mastery in 'Pacarrete', a film about an ageing, eccentric ballet dancer who is determined to perform at her town's 200th anniversary party. “He effectively brings out the bold dynamic life and dreams of an ageing artiste in a changing world,” the jury noted.

Guatemalan filmmaker Cesar Diaz's debut film 'Nuestras madres' (Our Mothers), about a son's quest for his father in the backdrop of the searing Guatemalan civil strife, won him the Rajatha Chakoram (silver pjeasant) for the best debut filmmaker. He was awarded for capturing the “underlying cruelty of a civil war”. Diaz had also won the Camera d'Or for the best debut feature at Cannes this year.

The awards were distributed at the closing ceremony of the 24th IFFK on Friday.

The NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema) Award for the Best Asian Film was given to 'Aani Maani' by Fahim Irshaad. The movie tackled the religious and political issue of the banning of beef with a kebab seller at the centre. “It was a bold stance in the current national situation,” the NEPAC jury said.

Farham Irshaad also won the K R Mohanan Award for Best Debut Director from India, instituted by the Federation of Film Societies of India.

The NETPAC Award for the Best Malayalam Film went to 'Veyilmarangal' by Dr Biju. The award, according to the jury, was for “an uncompromising storytelling and technique that underscored the plight of the landless that forces a South Indian family to resettle in an apple orchard in the North.”

One of Malayalam's favourite films, Kumbalangi Nights', won the NETPAC Special Mention in the Best Malayalam Film Category.

The International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI, short for Fédération Internationale de la Presse Cinématographique) Award for Best International Film went to 'Camille' by Boris Lojkine. The FIPRESCI Award for Best Malayalam Film was bagged by Santhosh Mandoor's 'Pani'.

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