Curtains came down on the 3rd Guwahati International Film Festival on Wednesday, in which 100 films from 65 countries were screened.
In the competition segment of the GIFF, Gajendra Ahire-directed 'Dear Molly' (Hodi) was adjudged the Best Feature Film while Arjunn Dutta received the Best Director award for 'Unsaid' (Abyakto).
At the closing ceremony of the seven-day extravaganza, Sangeet Natak Akademi Award-winning actor Mohan Agashe said a film that does not force a viewer to think passes on adulterated information.
The difference between good and bad movies is that good films provide authentic information, while bad ones pass on information laced with 'masala', he said.
"Our formal education doesn't include how to see, feel and touch. The only media that teaches all of these is films. In a country like India, a lot of people can't read and write.
For them, the only source of information is movies and their own experiences," the veteran film personality said. The closing film of the festival was 'To The Desert' (Al Desierto) by Argentinian director Ulises Rosell.
This year, the competition segment was extended to national level after containing it for only state films in the earlier two editions.
The Special Jury Award was given to Sumitra Bhave for Art Direction in 'Seeing' (Dithee), while Philip Sangma for his acting in 'Ma Ama' by Dominic Sangma and 'Jwlwi - The Seed' by Rajni Basumatary bagged the Jury Special Mention certificates.
European film personality Nenad Dukic was the chairman of the Jury, while the other two members were Abu Sayeed and Santwana Bardoloi.
Along with Dukic, the other dignitaries present during the Closing Ceremony included eminent cinematographer A K Bir, Argentinian Ambassador to India Daniel Chuburu and Assistant High Commissioner of Bangladesh in Guwahati Shah Mohammad Tanvir Monsur.
"I came here last year too and very impressed to see the festival growing every year. I will come next year also and hope that GIFF moves to a bigger place," Chuburu said.
Monsur said Assam and Bangladesh are two brothers, which got separated during the partition of 1947.
"We are going to be connected. Already the two prime ministers of the two countries have signed 72 agreements.
India also provided USD 8 billion line of credit to various projects in Bangladesh," he added. For the first time, 3rd GIFF also screened short films of debut filmmakers under the competition segment. 'Aharor Duporiya' was adjudged the Best Short Film. 'This is Life' and 'Soan Papdi' were awarded the Jury Special Mention certificates.
The Jury Members of the short film segment were filmmakers Kangkan Deka and Jaicheng Jai Dohutia along with audiographer Debajit Gayan.
The Assam government supported festival began on October 31 with the screening of Iranian film 'Charcoal' (Komur) by renowned director Esmaeel Monsef.
Around 70 film personalities from India and abroad took part in the festival. Ambassadors from South Korea, Hungary, Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, Bolivia, Argentina and Bangladesh were also present among other diplomats.
The State Government-owned Jyoti Chitraban (Film Studio) Society organised the festival in association with the Dr Bhupen Hazarika Regional Government Film and Television Institute.
This year, Iran was the country of focus with five films, while the focus region was Latin American and Caribbean countries with seven films in the GIFF 2019.
Apart from these countries, films from Sri Lanka, Hungary, South Korea, Spain, Israel, the US, Taiwan, Italy, Iceland, China, Canada, Philippines, Bangladesh, France, Portugal, Bhutan, Bolivia, Poland, Russia, Japan, Nepal, Germany, Belgium, Turkey, Kyrgyzstan, Indonesia, Vietnam, Qatar, Slovenia, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Syria, Denmark and Tunisia were also screened.
The film festival had a special session by Polish film director Krzysztof Zanussi and a retrospective of his movies were showcased.
The festival was divided into eight categories with the tribute section being dedicated to Mrinal Sen and Girish Karnad.
The other categories included World Cinema, Indian Showcase, Competition Section, North-East Kaleidoscope, 150 years of Celebrating the Mahatma and Indian Panorama.
An important feature of the festival was Open Forum sessions on topics related to films and the region as well as Master Classes by film personalities in their respective fields.