The 49th International Film Festival of India on Tuesday (20 November) honoured veteran Israeli filmmaker Dan Wolman with the Lifetime Achievement award at the opening ceremony, held in Panjim, Goa. Israel is the country in focus at the festival this year and will also screen 10 Israeli films.
“For this award is much sweeter, more meaningful because this award is given in India, a country which I have become very part of, a country with its people, culture, and vibrant cinema that I admire,” Wolman said in his acceptance speech.
The Indo-Israeli bonhomie at the festival is reflective of the growing friendship between the two governments. Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu had visited Indian early this year, and had welcomed the Indian film industry to shoot in his country.
“This year IFFI chose to focus on Israeli cinema. I am glad that the films that the IFFI curators have selected are diversified, and reflect the mini voices in our country, some mainstream, some fringe, some voices suffering demanding justice. Diversity multiple viewpoints and respect of others are the strength of our culture and tradition. We will be loyal only to them. There is chemistry between people, and I believe there is chemistry between nations. I believe there is chemistry between Israel and India. I hope this chemistry, friendship will manifest in collaborations in the field of cinema,” Wolman added.
Wolman, who started his career in the 1970s, has to his credit acclaimed films like The Dreamer (1970), Floch (1972), Hide And Seek (1980), The Distance (1994), Tied Hands (2006), The Director’s Angst (2015) and An Israeli Love Story (2017), among others.
The opening film of the Country Focus section is The Other Story (2018) by Avi Nesher, while other films to be screened in the section include The Bubble (2006), Waltz With Bashir (2008), Footnote (2011), Longing (2017), Shalom Bollywood: The Untold Story Of Indian Cinema (2017), Working Woman (2018), The Unorthodox (2018), Para Aduma (2018) and Redemption (2018).