Pro Tools
•Register a festival or a film
Submit film to festivals Promote for free or with Promo Packages

FILMFESTIVALS | A world wide coverage

Enjoy the best of both worlds: Portal with Film & Fest News and Social network for the festival community.  

Since 1995 we connect films to festivals and document the world of festivals worldwide.
We offer the most comprehensive festival directory of 6 000 festivals, browse festival blogs, film blogs...and promote yourself.

The website is currently being redesigned, we will let you know when it is ready.

User login

Siraj Syed

Siraj Syed is the India Correspondent for and a member of FIPRESCI, the International Federation of Film Critics. He is a Film Festival Correspondent since 1976, Film-critic since 1969 and a Feature-writer since 1970. 



IFFI Goa 2017, XII: Winners’ List, and a few regrets

IFFI Goa 2017, XII: Winners’ List, and a few regrets

It was an evening of regret. At the closing ceremony of the 48th International Film Festival of India (IFFI), which concluded in Panaji, Goa on November 28, six films/directors made it to the top, of which I had seen only 30% of one, the only one to win two prizes. Why I did not see the others, and why only 30% of a particular one will be explained below. But first, the LIST.


 (In absentia)

1. Morocco-born French Director Robin Campillo’s drama film 120 BPM won the coveted Golden Peacock Award for the Best Film. The film, set in France in the 1990s, deals with homosexuality, and the AIDS epidemic.

BPM (120 Battements par Minute/Beats per Minute)

(France / 2017 / 144 min)

Festival Participation and awards: Cannes film Festival, Won the Grand Prix at Cannes, Nominated for Palme d'Or at Cannes, Country submission for the Best Foreign language film for the Oscars.

The Golden Peacock Award carries a cash prize of Rs 4 million (Rs 40 lakh), to be shared equally between the Producer and the Director, plus a Trophy and a citation.

 (In absentia)

2. Chinese director Vivian Qu won the Best Director Award for her 2017 film Angels Wear White. The film is about the travails of two teenage girls who are assaulted by a middle aged man in a seaside town in China. Vivian’s hard hitting social drama provides a social context for highlighting violence against women.

(China / 2017 / 107 min)

Festival Participation and awards: Official Competition in Venice Film Festival and BFI London Film Festival

As Best Director, Qu gets the Silver Peacock Award and a cash prize of Rs 1.5 million (Rs 15 lakh)

 (In absentia)

3. The Best Actor (Male) Award goes to  Nahuel Perez Biscaryat for his portrayal of AIDS activist Sean Dalmazo, an effective member of ACT UP, for underling  all the horror of the epidemic, in the French film 120 BPM. A caring lover and firm in his beliefs, Sean isn’t simply an ideologue, but someone who binds his activism to the strongest will to live.

 Parvathy on the right

4. The Best Actor (Female) goes to Parvathy T. K., for her portrayal of a nurse who wages a battle for the release of her husband, held hostage by the rebel army in the war-torn Iraq, in Mahesh Narayanan’s Malayalam film Take Off. Parvathy, who hails from Kozhikode, Kerala mostly stars in South Indian films. She has won many awards and accolades, including the Kerala State Film Award and Filmfare award.

(India-Malayalam / 2017 / 139 min)

Both Best Actor Male and Female are honoured with the Silver Peacock Trophy and a cash prize of Rs 1 million (Rs 10 lakhs each)

 Narayan on the right

5. Mahesh Narayan also walked away with the Special Jury Award for his directorial debut Take Off, which focusses on the dramatic rescue of Indians trapped in Tikrit.

Special Jury Award carries a cash prize of Rs 1.5 million (Rs 15 lakh), a Silver Peacock Award and the citation.

 In absentia

6. Bolivian director Kiro Russo won the Silver Peacock for the Best First Feature Film of a Director. Russo’s debut film Dark Skull offers a darkly beautiful subterranean study in atmosphere and mourning.

(Bolivia-Qatar / 2017 / 80 min)

Festival Participation and awards: Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema (International Competition),Cartagena Film Festival (Best Film - Mejor Película), Indie Lisboa International Independent Film Festival(International Competition), Locarno International Film Festival (Special Mention - Filmmakers of the Present), Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival (Best Latin American Film), RiverRun International Film Festival (Best Cinematography)

 Manouj Kadaamh on the right

7. Manouj Kadaamh’s Marathi language film Kshitij, produced by an NRI who now lives in the USA, has won the ICFT-UNESCO Gandhi Medal. The criteria for the Gandhi Medal reflect UNESCO’s fundamental mandate of building peace in the mind of men and women, particularly human rights, inter-cultural dialogue, promotion and safeguard of diversity of cultural expressions.


1. One of Canada’s most celebrated art house directors, producers and writers, 57 year-old Atom Egoyan, was honoured with the IFFI 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award. The prestigious award, consisting of a cash prize of Rs 1 million (Rs 10 lakh), certificate, shawl and a scroll, was conferred upon a master film maker for his/her outstanding contribution to cinema.

Egypt-born Armenian, and now a naturalised Canadian, film-maker Egoyan’s work often explores themes of alienation and isolation, featuring characters whose interactions are mediated through technology, bureaucracy or other power structures. Egoyan's films often follow non-linear plot structures, in which events are placed out of sequence, in order to elicit specific emotional reactions from the audience by withholding key information. His films have been presented in several retrospectives across the globe. Exotica (1994), The Sweet Hereafter (1997/Cannes Critics' Prize) and Remember (2015) were screened at IFFI 2017. Earlier films include Next of Kin (1984), Family Viewing (1987) and Speaking Parts (1989). Egoyan lives in Toronto and is fond of playing the clascial guitar.

2. The Indian Film Personality of the Year Award was presented to the Hindi film industry’s legendary actor Amitabh Bachchan, whose first film, Saat Hindustani, was shot in Goa just about 50 years ago


1. Beats per Minute is an assault on your senses, loud, sledge-hammer like. There is no denying that AIDS was a major social concern in the France of the 1990s, and remains a major health and sociological concern in 2017. With a hundred odd activists shouting, throwing things, breaking into a pharma company’s office, spilling hundreds of litres of blood, the film became intolerable, and I just had to walk out after about a third or running time (a hefty144 minutes, no less). And then it bags two major prizes! Did the film metamorphose into a classic as soon as I left the INOX auditorium? I regret I do not know, but I bow my head to the Jury. Democracy is alive, and clocks 120 beats per minute.

2. Most competition film screenings were held at an auditorium called Kala Academy. Firstly, the auditorium is not meant for film shows by any parameters. Secondly, the air-conditioning was maintaining the temperature around 29-30 degrees, which is what it was outside, making you sweat it out. (Incidentally, I am unable to bear extreme cold, and carry a cap and a muffler, lest the mercury dip below 24). Lastly, the seats have a cushioning and an angle that slides you down time and again, and after the umpteenth attempt to push myself  back to full-height, I preferred to avoid the theatre totally. The organisers were not going to either acknowledge or rectify the problems for one person, so it was more practical that the one person keeps away. That is why I could not see most of the competition films, a fact that I have to regret.

3. There is little doubt that Atom Egoyan (picture at the top) is one of the finest directors we have, and though his films show little trace of it, he has been immensely inspired by our own Satyajit Ray. But when you honour him with a Lifetime Achievement Award at an IFFI where the partner country is Canada, you do no service to the concepts of credibility and transparency. A day before the event, the Canadian delegation hosted a reception, where Egoyan was on stage, and the compère declared that he (Egoyan) will be getting the honour at an event where Amitabh Bachchan will also be honoured, and that “it does not get any bigger than this.” Subtlety, anyone? The way this award was handled was surely regrettable.

4. Unlike Atom Egoyan, Amitabh Bachchan was not getting a Lifetime Achievement Award. He was presented something called the Indian Film Personality of the Year Award. Really? What has he done this year that he has not done earlier? In fact, by Bachchan’s standards, this was a lean year. You just had to give Bachchan an award, and you had to call it something. Maybe Bachchan should have declined the offer as soon as it was made. Maybe a more convincing peg needed to be found to do justice to the superstar. But the way it was designed was regrettable.

User images

About Siraj Syed

Syed Siraj
(Siraj Associates)

Siraj Syed is a film-critic since 1970 and a Former President of the Freelance Film Journalists' Combine of India.

He is the India Correspondent of and a member of FIPRESCI, the international Federation of Film Critics, Munich, Germany

Siraj Syed has contributed over 1,015 articles on cinema, international film festivals, conventions, exhibitions, etc., most recently, at IFFI (Goa), MIFF (Mumbai), MFF/MAMI (Mumbai) and CommunicAsia (Singapore). He often edits film festival daily bulletins.

He is also an actor and a dubbing artiste. Further, he has been teaching media, acting and dubbing at over 30 institutes in India and Singapore, since 1984.

Bandra West, Mumbai


View my profile
Send me a message