Suvarna Chakoram for best film for This Is Not A Burial…

The curtain came down on the silver jubilee edition of the

International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) here on Friday evening with the announcement of awards for the best films and filmmakers.

Veteran filmmaker Adoor Gopalakrishnan gave away the awards at the closing ceremony held at Priya Theatre.

South African film This Is Not A Burial, It’s A Resurrection, by Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese, won the Suvarna Chakoram for the best film. The film won the award for its visual power and a tour de force performance by the late Mary Kuksie Twala in the depiction of an Africa resisting neo-colonisation while dealing with the trauma and scars of its colonial past. The film was chosen unanimously by the international jury.

Special mention

Mary Twala won the jury’s special mention for her acting. “Her fierce yet sage performance will remain an eternal inspiration in the world of cinema,” the jury said. “Though she passed away soon after completing the film at the age of 80, she leaves behind a courageous and dignified image of the human body and the celebration of the spirit of innovation and commitment to her art.”

Malayalam film Churuli directed by Lijo Jose Pellissery won the

audience poll Rajata Chakoram for the best film in international

competition. Lijo Jose also won the international jury’s special

mention for direction. He won the mention for “daring exposition of the thin line between the lawful and the lawless, seen through a

steady hallucinatory descent into absurdity, violence, anarchy, chaos and illusion.”

Best director

Bahman Tavoosi, who directed The Names of the Flowers (Los Nombres De Las Flores), won the Rajata Chakoram for the best director. The jury said that they were impressed by Tavoosi’s “thoughtful and unhurried ability to allow the rhythms and colours of the landscapes, the wrinkled body and face of the protagonist and a bowl of soup to tell a powerful political tale of responsibility to personal truth even in the face of despotic forces.”

Alejandro Telemaco Tarraf, who directed Piedra Sola, won the Rajata Chakoram for the best debut director. He won the award for

integrating themes of memory, time and landscape through meaningful composition to narrate a deeply reflective story of a man and his relationship with nature deep inside the Argentinean highlands that brings out the essence of human longing.

Other honours

Akshay Indikar, director of Sthalpuran – Chronicle of Space, won the FFSI K.R. Mohanan Award for the best debut director from India. Sthalpuran also won the NETPAC Award for the best Asian film in competition.

Musical Chair directed by Vipin Atley won the NETPAC Award for the best Malayalam film. Hilal Baydarov’s In Between Dying won the FIPRESCI Award for the best film in international competition. Ratheesh Balakrishnan Poduval’s Android Kunjappan Version 5.25 won the FIPRESCI Award for the best Malayalam film.

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