The 11th edition of the Pune International Film Festival (PIFF) ended on a sour note with murmurs of mismanagement by the audience and disinterest from the public as the festival drew to a close last night. Organisers claimed that over 8,000 delegates had registered to watch the films at the week-long festival, but only 400 turned up for the closing ceremony. Moreover, the function was delayed, as the Minister of State for Culture Fouzia Khan arrived 35 minutes late at the venue — City Pride Multiplex in Kothrud.
Prominent celebrities were also absent, unlike in previous years, and ones that were present had to face discomfiture. While announcing the Live Action (short film) and Animation Film award, chairman of the jury team Resul Pookutty could not get the winners list in time from the organisers. The ‘Government of Maharastra’ award for the best international film was won by Barbara (Germany), and the best Marathi film was awarded to ‘Kaksparsh’.
Khan, who in her speech did not declare any financial aid for the festival, said, “We may increase the funds for the festival and also suggestions given by the jury members about increasing the number of awards in World and Marathi film category would be considered.”
Praise for Tukaram
Jeetendra Joshi, who won the best actor award for playing the role of Tukaram, said, “I am thrilled that the film on the life of Sant Tukaram has proved a boon for me as an actor. The credit goes to my director Chandrakant Kulkarni and the entire team.”
Fouzia Khan announced plans for a Film University, and also touched upon a proposed master plan for Film City in Mumbai. The new master plan for Film City will have studios, museums and many other facilities, according to Khan.