IFFI 2019: Screening of Italian film ‘Despite the Fog’ by Serbian director Goran Paskaljevic

New Delhi: The 50th edition of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) began in Goa today with the screening of the Italian film Despite the Fog. Speaking at the press conference with the cast and crew, Director Goran Paskaljevic, who has also served as Jury head at the 44th edition, said that the film looks at the serious issue revolving around minor refugees in Europe.

“It’s an intimate story. There are many films already done on the subject. But this is a story about whether people accept or don’t accept refugees in Europe, and in most cases they don’t. It serves as a metaphor to explore the xenophobic fog prevalent in the region,” said Paskaljevic.

The award winning Serbian director also used the film to explore his own thoughts on the refugee problem.

“I also thought about what would I do if I met an abandoned kid. Do I take him with me or leave him? That’s how I developed the story,” he added.

Mariella Li Sacchi, one of the producers, also speaking at the conference stated that she had admired Goran’s work and when she got a ‘chance to read the screenplay, she loved it.’

“The film isn’t a mainstream film, but a political statement. The theme speaks about the big problem in Europe and especially in Italy. It gets worse everyday. I liked that the film didn’t have a documentary style but poetic approach,” said Sacchi.

Ali Mousa, the young star who played a refugee in the film, said, “I was happy because Gorang helped me. I learned from the big actors how to promote the film.”

When asked about finding a solution towards the refugee problem, the director said that the only way forward was to not create wars.

“No one wants to leave their homes, friends and culture,” Paskaljevic said.

The film journeys into the plight of refugees who are abandoned on the streets. In the film, Paolo, a manager at a restaurant finds an eight-year-old child on the cold streets and decides to take him home. The director delves into how society reacts to the presence of the child.

The Asian premier at the film festival will have the actors Paolo Triestino, Alessandra Cotogno and others at the inaugural ceremony in Panjim today.

Paskaljevic also spoke about the film he made in India, Dev Bhoomi, which was released on Amazon Prime and had 10 million views across the world.

“This is my love letter to India. It was shot in Uttarkhand and had a very simple yet emotional story,” said Paskaljevic, reminiscing about how he fell in love in India.

IFFI is celebrating it’s 50th edition, where Rajinikanth will be receiving the ICON Award. Amitabh Bachchan and other celebrities are attending the Festival where Shankar Mahadevan will render a thematic musical performance and Karan Johar will host segments.

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The ID Staff

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