We present the winners of the 15th Pune International Film Festival that took place from January 12th – 19th, 2017 in Pune, India.
World Cinema Section
Best Film Award
Ztraceni v Mnichove (Lost in Munich) by Petr Zelenka – Czech Republic | 2015 – 105 min.
During the Munich meetings between French premier Edouard Daladier, Neville Chamberlain, Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini, there was a unnoticed observer – Daladier’s parrot. Now 90 years old, it is invited to Prague by the French Cultural Institute and begins to repeat various derogatory comments (mainly about Czechs) that its master allegedly made during the negotiations, Pave, a Czech journalist undergoing a midlife crisis, kidnaps the parrot and find himself at the center of a political scandal. But what if this isn’t true and we are really watching a film? What are the problems of making a Franco-Czech co-production in which the lead character is a parrot? Why is there a poster of Truffault’s Day for Night on the wall? And will Jean-Louis Trintignant agree to appear? Petr Zelenka reveals an undiminished sense of the absurd in a film that he suggest’ you might have to concentrate on’.
Best Director Award
Kirill Serebrennikov for Uchenik (The Student) – Russia | 2016 – 119 min.
Veniamin, a teenager in the midst of a mystical crisis, has his mother, schoolmates and entire high school turned upside down by his questions. Should girls go to their swimming classes in bikini? Does sex education have a place in school? Should the theory of evolution be taught as part of “natural sciences? The Adults are soon overwhelmed by the certitudes of the youngster who swears only by Scripture. No one but Elena, his biology teacher, will alone challenge him on his own ground.
Bar Bahar (In Between) by Maysaloun Hamoud – Israel, France | 2016 – 102 min.
Layla, Salma and Nour – Palestinian citizens of Israel – share a flat in hipster Tel Aviv; beyond the watchful gaze of family, clan or village in the heart of a “modern”, “progressive” Jewish society that will forever define them as 2nd class citizens. Tel Aviv’s Palestinian “underground club” is a lab for testing out one’s physical and emotional boundaries.
In this chilling duality, between would-be conservatism and supposed liberalism, three stories come together to form a single shared fate. The illusory freedom the big city exacts a high price: independence or identity crisis?
Special Jury Award
Zoologiya (Zoology) by Ivan I. Tverdovsky – Russia | 2016 – 87 min.
Middle age zoo worker Natasha still lives with her mother in a small coastal town. As she struggles for independence, she has to endure the absurd reality of her life filled with gossip spread by the women around her. She is stuck and it seems that life has no surprises for her until one day… she grows a tail.
Lady of the Lake by Haobam Paban Kumar – India | 2016 – 123 min.
Loktak Lairembi” is about one of the last dwellers on Loktak Lake’s phumdi biomass is Tomba. He is a depressed fisherman. When Tomba finds a gun, it becomes his companion and makes him aggressive, cocky and quick to pick fights-until an old woman knocks on his door one night. Believing that the lady is the spirit of all evils, Tomba chases her and commits an unintended crime.
Special Mention (Actress)
Agata Buzek for her role in The Innocents (Agnus Dei) – Poland | 2016 – 115 min.
Mathilde Beaulieu, a young nurse, is working with a branch of the French Red Cross in Poland in the winter of 1945, after WWII has ended. They are there to find French survivors of the German camps to treat them and bring them home.
One day, a Polish nun arrives at the French hospital and begs Mathilde for help. Although the young nurse is reluctant, the nun won’t take no for an answer. She takes Mathilde to the convent, where six nuns and a novice are pregnant, having been raped repeatedly by Russian soldiers. The nuns have no idea what to do and need Mathilde not only to help with the births, but to help decide what to do with the babies. The convent is caught in a tragic double bind: accepting the responsibilities of motherhood or abandoning the children of sin.
Special Mention (Cinematographer)
The Land of the Enlightened by Pieter-Jan de Pue – Afghanistan | 2016 – 87 min.
A gang of Afghan kids from the Kuchi tribe dig out old Soviet mines and sell these explosives to children working in a lapis lazuli mine. Another gang of children preserves a tight control on the caravans that smuggle blue gemstones through the arid mountains of Pamir. In this seamless blend of fiction and documentary, we experience a cinematic journey into the beauty of war-tormented Afghanistan. Shot over seven years on an evocative 16mm stock, first-time director Pieter-Jan De Pue paints a whimsical yet haunting look at the condition of Afghanistan left for the next generation.
Marathi Cinema Section
Best Marathi Film Award
Lathe Joshi by Mangesh Joshi – India | 2016 – 103 min.
Mr. Joshi Fondly known as “Lathe Joshi” for his skill at working the Lathe machine is left jobless. While his family and the world at large, manage to survive or thrive, he struggles to retain his fading identity. Technology rules the changing time: the inevitable human price is “Lathe Joshi”
Ghuma (Revolve) by Mahesh Kale – India | 2016 – 95 min.
Namdeo Kothule is a common farmer living with his wife Sanji, childrens Vikas and Guni. For earing & expenditure they do farming. Nama & haribhau are brothers but because of farm’s ownership there is clashes between them. Vikas has left his education in between & now working as mechanic in garage. Hence Nama wants Guni to get educated. The local Marathi medium school is not in proper condition to enroll Guno. Rich people’s children goes into English school, Hence Nama also wants Guni to enroll him in English medium even though he has economic problems. So the journey of Nama’s struggle to enroll his son in the school is shown in this film.
Best Cinematography Award
Satyajeet Shobha Shreeram for Lathe Joshi (Mangesh Joshi) – India | 2016 – 103 min.
Best Screenplay Award
Rajesh Mapuskar for Ventilator (Rajesh Mapuskar) – India | 2016 – 143 min.
An alling senior member of a family is put on the ventilator 7 days prior to the Ganpati festival. This leads to varied degree of speculation and panic among the large coastal clan he belongs to. Family members from different part of Maharashtra as well as abroad descend on the hospital with personal agendas. What ensues is a rollercoaster ride of laughter, tears and relationships. It takes viewers through the highs and lows of human emotions.
Best Actress Award
Tannishtha Chartterjee for her role in Doctor Rakhmabai (Ananth Narayan Mahadevan)
India | 2016 – 124 min.
Towards the end of the 19th century, around 1880, a revolutionary new force that surprisingly emanated from the mind of a 20 year old girl impacted Indian society like thunderbolt and hasn’t diminished till today. Young Rakhmabai Raut was unaware that she would make history as India’s first lady practicing doctor. Rakhmabai’s dream of obtaining a medical degree wasn’t easy to fulfill. “It was a move that shook up a lot of people in a conservative, orthodox society”. When she landed in England after a lonely 4 month trip across the high seas, she found herself in a land full of foreigners and languages she was barely at home with.
Embracing everything good in Hindu and English cultures and revolting against the ills of these systems, Rakhmabai fought all by herself to fulfill her father’s dreams of an empowered society for women. At the ripe old age of 90,she had left behind a legacy of issues that modern society still grapples with as it deals with the age old dogma of gender discrimination
Best Actor Award
Aarya Adhav for his role in Dashakriya (Sadip Bhalachandra Patil)
India | 2016 – 125 min.
“Dashkriya” is the story of Bhanudas a young boy. This is the story of Bhanuda’s enterprise, resourcefulness and hardworking nature. While this is history, Dashkriya highlights the trials and tribulations of the society that is caught in age old traditions, various communities that are tied together to earn livelihood at the same time ridden with the norms of the castle systems. It portrays the dreadful picture of contemporary society while attacking the disparity, inequality and selfish behavior of individuals and society as a whole.
Best Director Award
Sandip Bhalchandra Patil for Dashakriya – India | 2016 – 125 min.
Special Mention (Actor)
Padmanabh Bind for Ek te Chaar Band (Apurv Sathe)
India | 2016 – 115 min.
Milind Vaidya is a young lawyer from Pune, living his life happily. His work, his personal life, is all normal. But as he approaches “marriageable” age, his aspirations, expectations, and “supposed normalcy” takes a twist even he never imagined of. As we progress further, we keep on exploring his personal conundrums – about his marriage, his house, the city he lives in and, the lives around him that make or break him. As it so happens with all of us, we fail to recognize what we have, till we lose it. So does Milind really find what he is looking for? “Ek Te Chaar Band”, as the name suggests, represents a cultural nuance from modern urban India, which is divided into its glory days and, the novel makeover it is undergoing. As the city tries to find its balance, life seems peaceful and content, but as we go deeper, the fractures are visibly shattering. At this point, it becomes the saga of a city stuck between its two cultures and the confusing paradigm that takes over it.
Special Jury Award
Sandeep Sawant for Nadi Vahate (Rover Flows) – India | 2016 – 116 min.
Saving small rivers is the way to sustainable development, a way to become truly self-sufficient. This is a story of constructive resistance by common people for survival.
Volkswagen International Student Animation Awards
Best Short Film (India)
Tumbling Street by St. Xavier´s College – India | 2017 – 5 min.
Set in a small hamlet around Sikkim, a girl finds a way to cope up with society’s flaws to make ends meet.
Best Short Film (International)
Missing Key by ESMA – France | 2017 – 6 min.
A young pianist has to slay his stage fright in order to free his inspiration.
Volkswagen International Student Live Action Awards
Best Film Award
Tenants by Klara Kochanska – Poland | 2017 – 29 min.
Justyna, a young woman who’s the main protagonist in the film, buys a flat at a bailiff auction regardless the risk it may bring. When she wants to move in it turns out that the keys she was given do not fit the lock. A dream about a place of her owns turns into a nightmare.
Best Director Award
Eva Riley for The Patriot – UK | 2017 – 15 min.
Hannah loves her Dad and always wants to be seen next to him. But during the preparations for an anti-immigration protest at her house she is pushed out, being seen as too young to get involved. Hannah cycles into the countryside to let off some steam and meets a teenage Romany boy whose family are working in the fields. Hannah does her best to insult and push him away but the boy won’t leave her alone, leading to consequences which turn her world upside down.
Best Audiographer Award
Simon Peter for Pitter Patter Goes to My Heart (Christoph Rainer)
US | 2015 – 22 min.
The hopelessly romantic Lisa takes desperate measures to win her former lover back. But the fact that he already has a new girl at his side and that Lisa needs to bring her alcoholic father to an anti-varicose-campaign photo shooting without letting him know, is not particularly helping. The tragedy takes its course.
Best Cinematographer Award
Alpesh Nagar for Kalpvriksha – India | 2016 – 15 min.
A girl takes the journey to find a mythical ancient tree called Kalpvriksha. A tree which grants your wishes. Her efforts to let go things and find peace.
Best Screenplay Award
Aboozar Amini for Angelus Novus – UK | 2016 – 23 min.
Ali and his younger brother flee Afghanistan at a young age to build a new life in Turkey with their family and many other refugees. The boys earn a living shining shoe, but when one day their spot has been taken, their already fragile existence hangs by a thread. Realistic drama illustrates the harsh life and daily obstacles of Middle-Eastern refugees as seen through children’s eyes.
Patrick Vollrath for Everything Will Be Okay – Austria | 2016 – 29 min.
A divorced father picks up his eight-year-old daughter Lea. It seems pretty much like every second weekend, but after a while Lea can’t help feeling that something isn’t right. So begins a fateful journey.