The big winner of the festival is 'Loktak Lairembee - Lady of the Lake' by Haobam Paban Kumar. The German Star of India, sponsored by the main sponsor of the festival, honourary consul Andreas Lapp, is the winner of the ‘German Star of India’, which comes with a prize of €4,000. In the jury’s view, it offers "an unflinching view of the convention of the cinema" and simultaneously tells a story that is relevant to our time. Kumar's feature film debut was filmed exclusively with amateur actors around Loktak Lake in northern India. In this scenic paradise, extreme beauty meets extreme violence. Might is right.
The jury felt that, "the team of film makers carve out a subtle, poetic and even hypnotic way into a world between dream and reality, where issues such as expulsion, human rights and conflicts that arise in our home, our world and our environment are portrayed in this film with great integrity and honesty."
Director Haobam Paban Kumar has a degree in directing and writing from the Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute Kolkata. He first entered the spotlight with his film 'AFSPA, 1958' (2006), with which he won the International Jury and FIPRESCI Award at the 9th Mumbai International Film Festival 2006. Many of his other films, such as 'A Cry in the Dark' (2006), 'The First Leap' (2008), 'Mr India' (2009), 'Ruptured Spring' (2012), were awarded prizes.
The documentary ‘Cinema Travelers' by Shirley Abraham and Amit Madheshiya managed to win the jury over. Its two directors received the award, as well as a cheque for €1,000, and describe "the powerful appeal of the cinema in a delightful way - and how digitalisation is slowly becoming more and more popular, which is a rather painful process for some," according to the jury.
Filmed deep in the Indian countryside, the film shows how much cinema fascinates the rural population, and how the moving pictures seem to cast a spell over the people. The film projector itself appears more and more like a living being and the viewer develops empathy with the dying art of the traveling cinema. Fortunately, the film is not laden with nostalgia, because it also shows that the purchase of a digital projector gives new hope to the traveling moviegoers to continue their enjoyment. The jury added, "the film is taking a step forward with the advancing digitalisation of a universally debated topic, which is slowly altering many aspects of our society – some good, some bad - and leaves us with the memory of the times gone by."
The short film prize, along with a prize of €1,000, goes to 'Azaad' by Rahul V. Chittella. The film goes to show how fearless and courageous journalists can be. The jury was unanimous is finding 'Azaad' to be a "skillfully executed short film, showing the challenges a middle-class family in India has to endure. It tells the story of a father-son relationship in a convincing manner and how expensive it is to visit private educational institutions, and how difficult the struggle for journalistic freedom of expression is.”
The film shows off a strong and nuanced narrative structure, which links the private and the political in a refreshing way. The jury found that the story lends reality a voice, "which is currently highly relevant in the current Indian sociopolitical landscape
A special mention was given to Bernd Lützler’s ‘Camera Threat’. This documentary is a playful dialogue between analogue and digital film material, actors and director on a casting couch. The film was quirky, perceptive and original.
The Audience-Award-Winner is 'Mukti Bhawan - Hotel Salvation' von Shubhashish Bhutiani.
DIRECTOR'S VISION AWARD
A Billion Colour Story - Padmakumar Narasimhamurthy
The Drama 'A Billion Colour Story' by Padmakumar Narasimhamurthy won the Director's Vision Award.