New Delhi: Celebrated Spanish filmmaker Carlos Saura, who is one of the trinity of all-time greats of his country with Luis Bunuel and Pedro Almodovar, will be honoured with the Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement Award for his stellar contributions to cinema at the 53rd International Film Festival of India (IFFI), which opens in Goa on November 20.
Saura, who has been making films since 1955 and continues to be active behind the camera, just celebrated his 90th birthday earlier on January 2 this year. Along with honouring Saura, the #IFFI53 will screen a selection of the auteur’s award-winning films.
Last year, the honour went to the American living legend Martin Scorsese, who received the award and addressed the gathering in Goa virtually.
Saura shot into prominent in the 1980s for his Flamenco trilogy ‘Bodas de Sangre’, ‘Carmen’ and ‘El Amor Brujo’, in which he combined dramatic content and a celebration of flamenco.
Among the heaps of awards and nominations he has won include two nominations for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, for ‘Mam’, ‘Cumple Cien Anos’ (1979), ‘Carmen’ (1983), which went on to win the BAFTA award for the same category, and ‘Tango’ (1998).
A retrospective on the late great French-Swiss director and New Wave pioneer Jean-Luc Godard as well as special screenings of three award-winning films are among the many elements of France’s participation at the 53rd International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa, beginning on November 20.
France is the festival’s Country of Focus, in reciprocity of India being named the Country of Honour at the Marche du Cinema of the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the country’s Independence.
There will be special screenings of IFFI favourite Claire Denis’s ‘Both Sides of the Blade’, starring Juliette Binoche and Vincent Lindon; Albert Serra’s ‘Pacifiction’ with Benoit Magimel; and Mia Hansen Love’s ‘One Fine Morning’, which features former Bond girl Lea Seydoux in a lead role.
France will also be represented by a heavyweight delegation, which will include producer Olivier Delbosc, writer-director Pierre Core, and actors Louis Do-de Lencquesaing and Aurelien Recoing.
Delbosc is one of France’s most successful producers, having given a string of hits from Francois Ozon’s ‘Swimming Pool’ (2003) to Denis’s ‘Stars at Noon’ this year. Core directed the French breakout hit ‘Belle and Sebastien: Next Generation’ this year. De Lencquesaing was in last year’s all-star hit ‘Lost Illusions’ (based on Honore de Balzac’s novel) and Recoing was most recently in ‘Belle and Sebastian’.
Ahead of the event, the Ambassador of France to India, Emmanuel Lenain, said: “Cinema is a powerful tool to bring the French and the Indian peoples closer together. France and India are two nations with a long and rich cinema history and with thriving movie industries. I hope that the Indian audience will enjoy our presentations.”
The line-up of French cinema that will be screened at IFFI Goa comprises nine films representing the diversity of contemporary French cinema, from the Tibet-based adventure ‘The Velvet Queen’ by Marie Amiguet to ‘The Green Perfume’, a comedy adventure by Nicolas Pariser; from ‘The Vanished President’, a debut comedy by Jean-Marc Peyrefitte, to ‘Other People’s Children’, a drama directed by Rebecca Zlotowski.
“We want to showcase the richness and diversity of our cinema,” said Michel Plazanet, Deputy Director, International and European Affairs, of the Centre National du Cinema et de L’image Animee from Paris.
The 53rd International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa, begins on November 20.