45th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) - Goa - 2014

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45th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) - 2014 Logo

20th - 30th November, 2014

A Detailed Analytical Report

Mismanaged, Chaotic Poorly Programmed Cinematic Public Show Shorn of International Standard Serious Film Appreciating Audience and Buffs. Accredited Media and Film Critics, instead of Very Important Persons (VIP) were reduced to Least Important Persons (LIP). Excepting the Festival Director Shankar Mohan, other Organizers have had no Film knowledge or culture like ESG officials.


  • Lack of complete Coordination between the local semi-government organizer and facilitator Entertainment Society of Goa (ESG) Festival Directorate and Press Information Bureau which is a facilitator between media, press, managing celebrity press conferences and fest publicity.
  • ESG openly maintained that it is their Festival and they will manage it a their way having a maximum local crowd to keep them happy and in the process register as much delegates as possible irrespective of the available infrastructure or total seating capacity of all festival auditoriums. Against the total seating capacity of 2509, the Delegate registration itself amounted to almost 12500 besides about 400 media persons, foreign, local invitees, guests and film makers and crew. This was further topped by issue of daily visitor tickets for film screenings. NO WONDER, therefore, the Serious film fest meant to create healthy film culture, was reduced to a Crowded fair full of star / celebrity gazers, holidaying tourists and family picnics. Nepotism and favouritism was rampant since the temporary local theatre volunteers gate keepers used to admit to stand inside their own people much before the official admission starts.
  • Lack of seating capacity, infrastructure and facilities is an avoidable problem of last decade. Every year promises are doled out for a new spacious festival venue with refurbished amenities; but noe is fulfilled so far. Hopefully, now it may come thru’ as Goa has been declared as the permanent venue of the Fest. If it does not then the Ministry should seriously consider if Goa should continue to be a venue for such an huge International film fest.
  • While it was easy to get a ticket and entry for an old Indian film screening as a part of retrospective, homage / tribute or an issue, even a new regional film or the Master Class; for any foreign film, to get an entry, in spite of a ticket, one had to stand in long winding queues much before show timing. Five minutes past show timing rendered the ticket useless as the entry was allowed for all others holding a delegate badge but no ticket. In such a scenario, the media persons were the worst sufferers. They had to abandon important functions, events, press conferences, open forum etc. to rush to the auditorium stand in Q if wanted to view a film.
  • For Such non-filmi fest audiences hot, sexy and erotic films were much sought after, used to get the “Houseful” within 5 minutes of opening of advance ticketing. To watch erotic scenes from almost 6 hrs. long film “Nymphomaniac” (both parts at a stretch),there was a riot like situation when delegate at large could not get ticket or entry.
Amitabh lighting lamp
Arun Jaitley lighting lamp


  • While the Star and Celebrity presence was noticeable with Mega Stars led by Amitabh Bachchan (Chief Guest) and Rajinikanth (Centenary award recipient) with Anupam Kher and Ravina Tandon as hosts of the evening, adding a plus factor; the sour spot was that even the press persons were made to sit in the balcony of the stadium along with visitors; most of the local guests were made to seat down near the dais. To please the local invitees in large number, the newly built 5000 capacity S P Mukherjee indoor stadium was chosen for the inaugural event. Amitabh Bachchan speech as the Chief Guest was longish and disappointing read out from a written history of Indian Cinema. Audience were deprived to hear his familiar reverberating voice in Hindi, except for rendering of a poem of his father. The classical dance ensemble performance of the well known danseuse Sobhana was less pure classical but more of a record dance on classical numbers from old Indian films, a sort of tribute to dancing skills of Padmini, Vyjayantimala, Wahida Rehman, Hema Malini etc.
  • Screening schedules of theatres especially INOX 2 went haywire everyday due to lack foresight in planning the film screenings a per the duration and spacing of time slots. That made film enthusiastic to stand outside gate for hours. Compared to this, MAMI’s Mumbai Film Festival was better organized and patronized by real film buffs.
  • Was that an under estimation of a blunder to keep the first ever screening of Gulzar’s 26 year old film (still laying in the cans) to be screened at a miniscule theatre like “Maquinez Palace”? Perhaps an insult to the doyen of meaningful cinema and lyricist as well as to all those fans loving his genius who could not get entry even to sit in the isle?

Here are a few opinions expressed by common man, film makers or media about the fest:

Cab Driver : This year the fest was not of the standard, it used to be in previous years. To succeed any true International Film Fest requires organizers who are experts in film appreciation and culture with knowledge of films. Present ESG organizers are without this expertise and thus the festival this year was reduced more as a local Goa Festival as an additional tourist attraction”

Film makers / actors:

Anurag Kashyap : IFFI Needs the less bureaucracy. Sub-standard art work is like a Government conference.

Rajat Kapoor : IFFI is being overshadowed by the ‘Film Bazaar’ of NFDC, where everybody wants to sell the film but no one buys. When IFFI used to be in Delhi, to get an entry in Indian panorama Screening was a matter of prestige. No more so in Goa now.

Nav Hind Times (Goa Daily): Day 4 of the festival and the enthusiasm level is lower than the average last year. The scheduling is atrocious and the organization shoddy.

IFFI Diary : Day 7 Crowds have thinned. One can get an entry into any theatre without slogging it out.

A Starless / No-celebrity Closing Function

Even waiting till last day, IFFI could not manage to get any known Film personality to be the Guest at the closing function where the competition film awards were conferred.

Now the actual Palate at 45th IFFI

178 films from 79 countries were screened besides 26 feature, 15 non-feature films of Indian Panorama were screened. 13 Master Classes and Workshops conducted by World renowned Masters of Cinema Art and Writing were another highlights. Categorization of eh films for the convenience of delegates was done under following sections:

Competition Films, World Cinema, Master Strokes, Festival Kaleidoscope, Soul of Asia, Documentaries, Animated Films, Tribute and Homage films, Retrospective of Gulzar and Jahnu Baruah films. Special Country Focus was on Chinese films in International and films from North Eastern part in Indian section. A special section of films was introduced focussing Dance and film personality in retrospect.

Since the Acclaimed International film makers Mohsen Makhmalbaf (Iran), Jeon Soo–il (South Korea) and Krzysztof Zanussi were the Guests of Honor, their film section was also included.

The Lifetime Achievement was award was conferred on the Celebrity Chinese film maker Wong Kar-Wai. Indian personality of the Year award went to mega star Rajinikanth by way of an Centenary award who was present with his wife and daughter film maker / actor Soundarya.


A poignant Iranian film of Mohsen Makhmalbaf "The President” was an Inaugural film while the Closing film was the Chinese film “The Grandmaster” directed by Wong Kar-Wai.


INTERNATIONAL : Slawomir Idziak (Poland), Zhang Jianya (China), Maria Brenner (USA), Seema Biswas (India), Nadia Dresti (Switzerland)

INDIAN PANORAMA (Feature Films): A K Bir, A.S. Kanal, Advaita Kala, Archana, Ganga Raju Gunnam, Autaman Bhaskaran, K.N.T. Sastry, Oinam Gautam Singh, M.C. Raja Narayanan, Sameer Hanchate, Satarupa Sanyal, Utpal Borpujari, Vinod Ganatra

Non-Feature Films : Mike Pandey, Abhiram Bhadkamkar, Babu Kambrath, Oinam Doren, R. Buvana,Shila Datta, Vivek Mohan.


Best Film : “Leviathan" (Russia) Awarded : Golden Peacock with Rs. 40 Lakhs cash

Best Director : Nadav Lapid for the film “The Kindergarten Teacher” (Israel). Prize of Rs.15 lakhs with Silver Peacock

Best Actor (Female) : Jointly shared by Alina Rodriguez in film “Behaviour” and Sarit Larry in film “The Kindergarten Teacher” (Israel). Rs. 10 Lakhs plus Silver Peacock for each.

Best Actor (Male) : Jointly to Alexis Serebryakov for film “Leviathan” (Russia) and Deulal Sarkar for film “Chotoder Chobi” (India –Bengali). Rs. 10 lakh cash with Silver Peacock for each.

Centenary Award : For the Marathi film “Ek Hazarachi Note” (India) Director Shrihari Sathe. Rs. 10 Lakhs Cash, Silver Peacock.

Special Jury Award : For Marathi Film “Ek Hazarachi Note" (India) to director Shrihari Sathe Rs. 15 Lkhas Cash plus Silver Peacock.

Lifetime ACHIEVEMENT AWARD : International Personality to : Wong Kar Wai (China) Rs. 10 Lakhs Cash plus Silver Medal

Indian Personality in the form of Centenary award to : South Super star RAJINIKANT. Rs. 10 Lakhs Cash + Silver medal.


"Leviathan” (Russia)

This was awarded the best films top award of the fest for its thematic excellence, good treatment in developing the characters who are simple rustic but honest. Film also is an example of human grit.

Kolia lives in a small town near the Barents Sea, in North Russia. He has his own auto-repair shop. His shop stands right next to the house where he lives with his young wife Lilya and his son from a previous marriage. Vadim Shelevyat,, the mayor of the town, wants to take away his business, his house and his land. First he tries buying off Kolia, but Kolia cannot stand losing everything he has,, not only the land, but also all the beauty that has surrounded him from the day of his birth. So Shelevyat starts being more aggressive, adopting harsh and foul tactics but Kolia does not give up.

Direction is flawless. Actor Alexis Serebryakov gives a brilliant performance as Kolia for which he rightfully deserved best actor award of the Fest.. Cinematography is also good capturing minute details of a small town

The Kindergarten Teacher (Israel)

This was one of the best films of the competition section depicting both human strong points and frailty. The female protagonist character of played by Sarit Larry superbly fetched her one of the bests female actor awards in the competition films.

Ek Hazarachi Note (India)

This was one of the Indian Panorama films in the competition made (directed) in Marathi language by Shrihari Sathe. The film was honoured with twin awards one as the Centenary award for a competition film and other the special Jury award to its director Shrihari Sathe.

This is the story of Parobudhi, a poor old woman living in a remote village of the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra. A local politician comes canvassing for votes. Someone points out Budhi to him as that unfortunate woman whose young farmer son has committed suicide can survive. The politician presses a few thousand-rupee notes in Budhi's hands. But fate has something else in store for her. The local policeman hauls her up. Will she survive what follows? Will she be able to safely return home?

The director skilfully performed eh challenge in telling the story of a passive character that bears a strong semblance to Indian rural society, where people perpetually wait for something nice to happen to them.

The story and performances keep the audience glued and impressed by the everyday reality of rural and poor people of the region.

“Chotoder Chobi” (India)

This Bengali film is scripted, produced and directed by Kaushik Ganguly who is known for his works that explore sexuality. He has had four consecutive nominations in Indian Panorama and won a National Award for Shobdo.

This film is one of those films that open up the heart and the mind. Dwarfs are very commonly called jokers by most people in Indian society. They are the butt of jokes, and seem to have been born for our entertainment. We are born. We talk. We play. We grow up. We love. We work. We marry. We have babies. We have families. We retire. We die. Even 'they' do the same. Still, what we do is normal. What they do, funny. They are the little people of our society. We call them dwarfs, or even, midgets! This is a simple love story of such a couple, Khoka and Soma. How can a dwarf couple dream of making another family again knowing all the troubles they face? The film looks beyond this common and cruel misconception. All actors have played their parts emoting well the sympathy factor. But the leading character of Khoka played by Deulal Sarkar was outstanding in all types of emotions. He was thus, rightly awarded one of the best male actor awards in this fest. Photography by Soumk Haldar was also good.


This is a Spanish film sensitively scripted and directed by Ernesto Daranas.

The female lead actor of this film Alina Cruz has jointly won the best female actor award for her role as teacher Carmela.

Chala is eleven years old and has been forced to grow up too soon, being the breadwinner in his family. At school he is guided with a firm but affectionate hand by his teacher, Carmela. She gives Chala the support and love lacking at home. He responds with mutual love and respect. But things begin to fall apart once he is sent off to a school for children with behavioural problems.

Film is a good study in behavioural pattern of children and child psychology with correctional administration. Earlier was successfully screened at many International Film Festivals.

Director: Ernesto Daranas

Some other good films

Elizabeth Ekadashi (India)

This Marathi film is a unique offering. At the core of the film are basic human emotions of mother and child and a child's struggle to help his struggling single mother financially. Though the theme is universal, the presentation is such that it is very close to the Marathi soil. Set against the backdrop of Pandharpur, the film explores children's scientific curiosity vis-à-vis the spiritual teachings of the land.

Directed by Paresh Mokashi and written by Madhugandha Kulkarni.


This is a matured Bengali film of two seniors who adore each other for their talent. Mohona has retired as a professor in Santiniketan. Her only daughter, Parna, studies in Santiniketan's Viswa-Bharati and lives in a hostel. Mohona's long-lost 'friend' of college days, now a renowned writer, novelist Animesh Mukherjee, has just won an award. A secret meeting between them goes wrong when Animesh dies of a heart attack. The news spreads like wildfire and Mohona is left to undergo a trial by the society.

Flawlessly Directed and scripted by Sauvik Mitra Two veteran actors.

FATHER – DOCUMENTARY BY Shabanam Sukhdev (India)

This is a personal quest of a film-maker daughter to unravel the past and make a connection with her film-maker father, S. Sukhdev, who revolutionized documentary film-making in India in the mid-1960s and died at the age of 46, leaving behind an unresolved relationship with his daughter. With the help of archival audio recordings, old photographs and Sukhdev's films, she constructs a picture of her father as she struggles to love and respect him for who he was.

Director Shabnam Sukhdev specialized in screenwriting and direction from the FTII, Pune.

“WOMB ON RENT” Non-feature Film (India)

The film follows the emotional journey of a surrogate mother from India. Right from the day she signs a 'bond' that puts her womb on rent, through her nine months of 'bonded' labour, the film depicts how globalization and modern science are instigating situations of parenthood that mankind has never confronted before.

Director Ishani Dutta had multiple reasons to want to make this film, being a woman, a mother, a film-maker and a woman rights supporter.

Written by: 

Mohan Siroya



Indeed Mr. Siroya, the writer deserves accolades for such an exhaustive ,no holds barred ,report of the last IFFI. Without attending the fest, we came to know what it was .
I agree ,what Manmeet has said. Besides, Mr. Siroya has an edge in using satirical words while calling spade a spade..

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