PIFF parting gift: moment of glory for city film fraternity

Eight Punekars win awards; fest likely to spread its wings to Aurangabad, Nashik, Amravati and Kolhapur next year

As the curtains came down on the Pune International Film Festival (PIFF), the fest gifted the local film fraternity its moment of glory with eight Punekars getting 'international recognition' for their stellar performances or contribution. 

The tally of success stories adds up to 11 as three students of Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) were also awarded in the student competition category at the fest. The festival, organised by Pune Film Foundation and Government of Maharahstra, is also expanding after completing a decade to Aurangabad, Nashik, Amravati and Kolhapur from next year. 

This year's winners include Sumitra Bhave and Sunil Sukhtankar (best film, 'Ha Bharat Maza'), Uttara Bavkar (best actress, 'Ha Bharat Maza'), Sunit Bhave (best actor, 'Balgandharva'), Umesh Kulkarni (best director -'Deol'), Abhiram Bhadkamkar (best screenplay, 'Balgandharva'), Anshuman Joshi (special jury award for child actor,'Shala') and Chaitanya Sant (special jury award for child actor, 'Jana Gana Mana').

Anand Kulkarni, Principal Secretary for Culture, Tourism and Excise, has declared his intention to make PIFF statewide from next year. "Our idea is to show the PIFF films at Aurangabad, Nashik, Amravati and Kolhapur. The PIFF will be treated like other state festivals, including Manganga, Ellora and Elephanta festivals," he said.

Dr Jabbar Patel, sirector, PIFF, declared that films shall be also screened in the theatres and multiplexes in the 
industrial township of Pimpri-Chinchwad and therefore the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) will also extend funds for the festival from next year. "The PCMC was earlier the richest municipal corporation in Asia," he remarked. 

'Kalmadi a friend'
Patel did not forget to mention the name of MP Suresh Kalmadi during the closing ceremony of the PIFF in his speech. This was the first instance when Kalmadi's name was taken during the PIFF. "The idea of expediting Maharashtra Government's official film festival at Pune was made by Kalmadi, our great friend! He also gave a big push to the PIFF to turn it into a successful initiative in the city," Patel said.

And award goes to ...
>> Government of Maharshtra "Prabhat" Best International Film in the world cinema: German film 'If Not Us, Who?', directed by Andres Veiel.  

Best of the best: Faujia Khan, Minister of State for Culture 
(third from right) gives away the best Marathi film award to  the 
'Ha Bharat Maza' team, including director duo Sunil Sukthankar and 
Sumitra Bhave (fourth and fifth from left). Pic/Krunal Gosavi

>> Best International Film director: Iranian Film Director Asghar Farhadi (Nader and Simin: A Separation). 
>> Special Jury award: Sparrow (Russian film) produced by Alexandr Gundorov and directed by Yuri Shiller.
>> Audience's award: Sound of Love
>> Government of Maharahstra "Sant Tukaram" Best Marathi Film: 'Ha Bharat Maza' directed by Sumitra Bhave and Sunil Sukthankar. 
>> Special Jury award (Marathi, Children) was given to 'Shala'.
>> Special jury award for young artists: Anshuman Joshi (Shala), Chinmay Sant (Jana Gana Mana) and Shubham More (Upside Down). 

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