East Timor’s Beatriz’s War won the top Golden Peacock Award at the 44th International Film Festival of India, which ended on Saturday evening. The prize carries a cash component of Rs. 40 lakhs.
About passionate love and deception set during the Portuguese abandonment and brutal Indonesian occupation of East Timor in the mid-1970s, Beatriz’s War, by Bety Reis and Luigi Acquisto, deftly transposes the story of The Return of Martin Guerre to the Southeast Asian island.
India’s Kaushik Ganguly walked away with the Best Director honour for Apu’s Song, a Silver Peacock and Rs. 15 lakhs. Inspired by the real story of Subir Banerjee – who played the iconic Apu in Satyajit Ray’s 1955 Pather Panchali – the movie traces his journey to a film festival in Germany. As he reminisces about his life on his way, we are told that here was a celebrated child actor who never faced the camera after Pather Panchali.
While Tunisia’s Thou Gild’st The Even clinched the Special Jury Prize (carrying Rs. 15 lakhs, a Silver Peacock) with its quaint tale of a small Anatolian town, where its diverse characters include a football match referee and an egg factor worker in love with each other, the Centenary Award (of Rs. 10 lakhs plus a Silver Peacock) was given to Meghe Dhaka Tara, by India’s Kamaleshwar Mukherjee. The work was motivated by Ritwick Ghatak’s life and movies.
Israel’s Alon Moni Aboutboul won the Best Actor Award (Silver Peacock and Rs. 10 lakhs) for his performance in A Place in Heaven, while the Best Actress Prize was awarded to Poland's Magdalena Boczarska (Silver Peacock, Rs. 10 lakhs) in In Hiding.