Asserting that dissenting voices would not be silenced, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan gave away the awards to winners at the 24th International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK), on December 13, the concluding day. Without mentioning the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Act, he said that India would not remain silent before anti-democratic forces.
The winner of this year's Suvarna Chakoram -- the biggest award at the fest -- went to the Japanese film They Say Nothing Stays The Same.
The film tells the story of Toichi (Akira Emoto), an old boatman who has ferried people across the river for decades. One day he fishes out a girl from the river, and slowly a bond develops between them.
The second biggest award, Rajatha Chakoram for Best Director, went to Allan Deberton, for the Brazilian film Pacarrete, about an old ballet dancer, stubborn in her ways, and proud about her art.
The Rajatha Chakoram for Best Debut Director went to Cesar Diaz for Our Mothers, a film from Guatemala in which an anthropologist goes in search of his missing father.
The Lifetime Achievement Award this year was presented to Fernando Solanas, a veteran filmmaker from Argentina, who makes films of resistance.
The audience poll for Best Competition film was won by Lijo Jose Pellissery's Jallikattu. The film also won special mention in the Competition section.
Malayalam films Pani (FIPRESCI), Veyilmarangal (NETPAC) and Kumbalangi Nights (NETPAC Special Mention) won awards.
The FIPRESCI award for the best film in Competition went to Camille, based on the real life story of a French photojournalist, killed while covering the civil war in the Central African Republic.
Indian film Aani Maani, on a kebab seller’s struggles, won the NETPAC award for the Best Asian film. It also won the newly constituted KR Mohanan Endowment Award for Best Debut Director from India.