Taiwanese director Lin Chih Ju's The Wall was awarded the Golden Peacock and a cash prize of $25,500 (Rs1m) at the closing of the 38th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa last night.

The Silver Peacock for most promising director and a cash prize of $12,700 (Rs500,000) went to Thailand's Pongpat Wachirabunjong for her debut Me Myself.

The Special Jury award was shared by Bangladeshi filmmaker Golam Rabanny Biplab for the story of On The Wings Of Dreams and child actress Julia Urbini for her performance in Mexican film Mas Que A Nada En El Mundo.

The five-member jury, headed by Hungarian filmmaker Marta Mazaros, included Turkish actress Meltem Cumbul, Indian filmmaker Shaji Karun, Argentinian director Pablo Cesar and New Zealand director Robert Sarkies.

This year's IFFI, which opened with Cristian Mungiu's 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days and closed with Carlos Saura's Fados, had less Bollywood glitz than previous editions, with the exception of Shah Rukh Khan who presided over the opening ceremony.

But at the same time, the festival was praised by more discerning local media for the quality of films in its Cinema of the World and Indian Panorama sections.

'IFFI is finally once again looking like a genuine film festival,' Indian auteur Adoor Gopalakrishnan told local press. But he also called for continuity at the festival which has been through three directors since it moved to Goa in 2004.

Neelam Kapur, who headed the 2004 edition and returned this year, is in line for a government promotion which makes it unlikely that she will head next year's edition. In her closing address, Kapur said that the next IFFI will be held in the third week of November, 2008.

Meanwhile, the inaugural projects market at the accompanying Film Bazaar, organised by the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC), drew a positive response from international delegates. The market presented 14 projects from Indian filmmakers along with the NFDC's upcoming production slate.

Onoma International's Fabien Westerhoff described the event as 'well organised, in a very personal and friendly atmosphere.'

Other international sales agents attending the three-day event included Fortissimo Films andArclight Films, along withParis-based Memento Films and Rezo. Also attending were French financing agency Back Up Films, Germany's Pandora, Global Film Initiative and a large delegation from China.

There were a few glitches, most notably a laissez-faire meetings schedule, and the pent-up demand for a film financing event in India resulted in some uninvited pitching from the sidelines. But NFDC managing director Nina Lath Gupta said she hopes to introduce a more rigid appointments booking system by next year. She also hopes toattract projects from more established filmmakers now the event has started to gain momentum.

'With the scheduling corrected and better synergy with the festival, I think this could become a must-attend event, especially with the growing interest in cinema from India,' said Fortissimo's Raymond Phathanavirangoon.

The event also included a programme of seminars and workshops including discussions on script-writing, co-production, international distribution of Indian films and the growing market for non-Hollywood foreign fare in India.

In the latter, Mumbai-based Moser Baer's Harish Dayanirevealed thathis company plans to release some of Palador Pictures' world cinematitles on DVD, but at a higher price point than the $1 (Rs49) that Moser Baer has become famous for. This resulted in a lively debate on how world cinema should be priced in India.

Shekhar Kapur also dropped into the market, the day after his Elizabeth: The Golden Age opened in India, to discuss the globalisation of Indian cinema.

On the sidelines of the event, the Indian Independent Filmmakers Worldwide launched a web-site and database [www.iifw.in] for their global membership, and said they are gearing up to launch a film fund and indie film awards ceremony next year.