'Old' wins Golden Peacock

HONG KONG — Chinese film “The Old Barber” won the Golden Peacock, the top award of the Intl. Film Festival of India.

Helmed by Hasi Chalou, “Barber” is a tale of people and places disappearing in the face of rapid urbanization.

At the closing ceremony Sunday in Goa, South Korea’s An Kyung-Lee was named most promising helmer for his movie “A Short Life,” while Bangladeshi pic “Nirontor” by Abu Sayeed received a special jury prize.

The jury, headed by Oz helmer Rolf De Heer, awarded no kudos to local Indian titles, although prize list was a near clean sweep for Asian movies. De Heer said competition quality was so high that his panel could have handed out eight or nine awards.

Closing ceremony, which wrapped with a screening of Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu’s “Babel,” was marked by appeals for the fest to settle and grow in Goa.

The FIAPF-recognized event has previously shifted around India’s major cities; its permanent home in Goa is not yet completed. Event was troubled by organization issues and suggestions of regional bias.

Goa chief minister Pratapsinh Rane promised the facilities will improve. “We should be able to have the opening and closing ceremonies of the festival at our new convention center by next year,” he said.

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