Posts Tagged ‘National Award’

Honoured and so happy to receive the National Film Award yesterday. Here’s the picture for you to like!


This is the image that filmmaker Gurvinder Singh posted on his FB with a status update. A post with such black humour, we couldn’t resist the urge to share it with our readers.

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Gurvinder’s film Chauthi Koot was awarded the National Award for Best Punjabi Film, and the citation reads as follows –  ‘Effectively captures the sense of fear psychosis and tension during the times of insurgency in Punjab’. The Rajat Kamal Award includes cash prize of Rs 1,00,000/- each to the Producer and Director. He refused the award as a mark of protest for the choices the jury made, especially for Baahubali winning the Best Film Award. We had written about it earlier. Though he made it clear that his producer friend will accept the Producer’s award.

Recently, he shared another anecdote on his FB questioning the choice of National Film Awards jury.

Accosted by a young man dressed smartly in a black suit at the Kayseri bus station helping us book a bus to Ortahisar in Cappadocia, the land of magical landscapes and cave homes where Nuri Bilge Ceylan shot “The Winter Sleep”, we drink Turkish tea to kill time as he tries to communicate with us jovially in his bare knowledge of English, sometimes with the help of ‘Google Translate’ on his mobile. Once he knows we are from India, the topic veers towards Indian movies. He tells us that Indian movies are very popular in Turkey and they like the songs and dances. This after a woman in a shop in Istanbul had said she loves Paro, but cannot remember her name as its too difficult to pronounce. Aishwarya Rai, we told her. Yes yes, she nodded enthusiastically. And after a man in the same market had proudly proclaimed to us that he is Shah Rukh Khan’s father!

Now the young man at the Kayseri bus station asks us if we have seen ‘Baahubali’? My jaw drops. Sunayana laughs. We ask him whether he likes the movie? Then he goes on to type something on his mobile in Turkish on Google Translate. It gets translated into English as ‘nonsense’! We all laugh and I heave a sigh of relief. To reiterate, he says its crazy and stupid.

This ‘nonsense’ will be awarded the Best Indian Film of 2015 at the National Film Awards tomorrow. Hats off to the esteemed jury for this remarkable selection.

An alumni of FTII, Gurvinder is one of the most promising and fearless young filmmaking talent in the current generation. Chauthi Koot (The Fourth Direction) premiered at Cannes Film Festival in 2015. His debut feature film, Anhe Ghorey De Daan, was selected to premiere at Venice International Film Festival. And it bagged 3 National Film Awards – For Direction, Cinematography, and for Best Punjabi Film.

And as long as Singh’s fearless sense of (black) humour is intact, we will always be cheering for him.


After writers and scientists, filmmakers have joined the protest in raising their voice against the murders of rationalist author MM Kalburgi, activist Govind Pansare, and in support of FTII students. The 10 filmmakers include Anand Patwardhan, Dibakar Banerjee, Nishtha Jain, Paresh Kamdar, Kriti Nakhwa, Harshvardhan Kulkarni, Hari Nair, Rakesh Sharma, Indraneel Lahiri and Lipika Singh Darai.

And here’s the full text of their letter to the President and PM.


The President and the Prime Minister of India,

New Delhi

Dear Sir,

It is with a deep sense of dismay that we write to you. Many of the undersigned had written a letter to you barely a month ago in support of the demands of the students of FTII. We had urged you to intervene and ensure that FTII continues to be a stellar educational institution with a commitment to freedom of expression.

The student strike has entered the 4th month. The issue remains unresolved and our sense of apprehension about the fate of the institute has only grown. We have seen the students conduct their protest in a democratic manner with utmost dignity. We have also seen an attack on their credibility mounted in the most disgraceful manner in the press by the very people who were meant to be their guardians on campus- the director and the registrar. The ministry has seemingly offered a patient hearing to the students no less than 5 times over 4 months yet have made no attempt to put into place a transparent process to make key appointments to the people who are meant to give vision to the institute. They have expressed an inability to reverse the process that provoked this strike. We see this as a blatant disregard for the voice of these students.

It has also become imperative that we see the government’s stone walling of the students’ protest in a context. The Information and Broadcasting Ministry has appointed people with a narrow vision in the institutions under them. FTII, Children’s Film Society and CBFC are examples that the film fraternity has objected to.

Meanwhile, we have watched the murders of rationalists and writers like Dr. Narendra Dabholkar, Govind Pansare and M.M.Kalburgi with dismay. These are clearly not random acts of violence. People are being murdered for their beliefs and opinions. There seems to be no attempt to unravel the larger picture and bring to book extremist groups that believe in ruthless violence to eliminate those who hold a counter view from theirs. There has been no official condemnation of these groups and we question this silence.

The lynching and murder of an ironsmith, Mohammed Akhlaq, in a village at the edge of our national capital has shattered our faith in the spirit of tolerance that is the core of our robust democracy. The mob that stood at this poor Muslim man’s house had been empowered by the belief that this was an acceptable way to express rage. The current climate has validated this sentiment. Those who stand outside the circle drawn by the ruling elite are vulnerable in the most appalling manner. It has now come to light that members of the party that rule at the Centre led the mob. It is imperative that we take note of the impunity with which the mob was instigated. No condemnation is complete without naming the politically powerful who scripted this attack.

We are filmmakers who have been awarded by your most esteemed office. We hold that to be a high honour. Our cinema represents a rich diversity of political opinions and aesthetic expression. It was a matter of great pride for us that the government of India had awarded this plurality. If we do not stand up and register our protest now we are in the danger of being a part of the process that is flattening out our beautiful landscape of diversity. Freedom of expression are not mere words for us, it is a way of life we hold dear. Each life led differently from the mainstream is precious, we must fight for this right to pray, eat, love, work as we wish.

We feel compelled to return the honour that the State had bestowed on us. This is not an attempt to undermine your office but a heartfelt plea. Condoling deaths without interrogating the forces that scripted those murders reveals a tacit acceptance of the ugly forces distorting our country. The Government of India must urgently reveal its commitment to protect the freedom of expression of each citizen. We, the undersigned, stand alongside the writers who have returned the country’s highest literary honour and hereby return our National Awards. As filmmakers we stand firmly with the students of FTII and are determined to not let them shoulder the entire burden of their protests. They have mounted a historic struggle and we urge others within our fraternity to come forward and carry this protest forward.

List of signatories

1. Dibakar Banerjee
Film: Khosla Ka Ghosla (2007)
Film: Oye Lucky, Lucky Oye (2009)

2. Anand Patwardhan
Film: Bombay Our City (1984)

3. Paresh Kamdar
Film: Rasyatra (1995)

4. Nishtha Jain
Film: Gulaabi Gang (2014)

5. Kirti Nakhwa
Film: Lost & Found (2008)

6. Harshavardhan Kulkarni
Film: Lost & Found (2008)

7. Hari Nair
Film: Sham’s Vision (1997)

8. Rakesh Sharma
Film: Final Solution (2006)

9. Indraneel Lahiri
Film: Aamar Katha, Story of Binodini (2014)

10. Lipika Singh Darai
Film: Gaarud (2009)
Film: Eka Gachha Eka Mainsha Eka Samudra ( a tree a man a sea) (2012)
Film: Kankee O Saapo ( dragonfly and snake) (2013)


Here’s the good new for film buffs. If you missed Chaitanya Tamhane’s much acclaimed debut feature, Court, at Mumbai Film Festival, you can catch it in theatres now. The film is all set to release on April 17th, 2015.

A new terrific trailer of the film is out too. Have a look.

It’s been doing the fest rounds for quite some time and bagged some of the international prestigious awards at Venice and other fests. At the recently announced National Awards, the film has been adjudged the Best Feature Film. For a debut feature filmmaker, this is a dream run and it can’t get better than this.

Cast & Crew

Cast: Vira Sathidar, Vivek Gomber, Geetanjali Kulkarni, Pradeep Joshi, Usha Bane
Directed by: Chaitanya Tamhane
Produced by: Zoo Entertainment
World Sales: Memento Film International – Artscope

Official Synopsis:

A sewerage worker’s dead body is found inside a manhole in Mumbai. An ageing folk singer is tried in court on charges of abetment of suicide. He is accused of performing an inflammatory song which might have incited the worker to commit the act. As the trial unfolds, the personal lives of the lawyers and the judge involved in the case are observed outside the court.

Crossing Bridges (PVR 3)

Sange Dorjee Thongdok’s Crossing Bridges is all set to release in Mumbai, Delhi, Pune and Bangalore on 29 August, via PVR Director’s Rare. It’s the first feature film ever to be made in Shertupken, a dialect and tribal community from Arunachal Pradesh. It previously showed at the Mumbai Film Festival and Dharamsala Film Festival where it was warmly received. Here’s the synopsis and trailer of the film:

Tashi, a man in his early thirties is forced to come back to his village in the remote northeast region of India after eight years when he loses his job in the city. As he stays in the village waiting for a new job in the city to go back to, he experiences the life and culture of his native place and his people, which he never paid attention to before. As he rediscovers love, friendship and his roots, when Tashi gets the news that he has found himself a new job in the city, he must decide whether to go away or stay back home for good.


You can read more about Crossing Bridges in these interviews with director Sange Dorjee Thongdok (here and here) and DOP Pooja Gupte.



If you are not familiar with Umesh Kulkarni’s cinema (features and shorts), you surely are missing something. And you also don’t have the right to crib about the state of the Indian cinema.

Starting with his FTII diploma film Girni (which bagged three National Awards), Umesh has been constantly making shorts between his features. Here’s Three Of Us, the film which bagged two National Awards ( in Non-fiction category) last year – one for direction and another for cinematography.

Like us, do you also belong to the Royal Club Of Cribbing because you have access to the best of world cinema but not our desi regional films? Current status – Aarrrrgghh. Reason – Aaranya Kaandam has released in Mumbai but without any subtitles. So, here’s something to cheer about. And the best part, Government is doing it. And it’s FREE. So, STFU and go grab a seat soon.

WHAT : Directorate of Film Festivals ia is organizing ‘National Film Festival 2011’ in Delhi. The festival will screen all National Award winning films of 2010. The Awards were announced last month and would be presented soon.

NUMBERS : Out of 161 Feature films and 114 non-feature films that came as entry, 42 films (23 feature & 19 non-feature) have won Rajat Kamal or Swarna Kamal.

FESTIVAL : The opening film in the feature category is Dabangg and Pistulya in the non-feature group.

DATES :  The festival will begin from 17th June and will end on 16th July 2011.

PLACE : Films will be screened at Siri Fort Auditorium only on weekends! Entry to this festival is absolutely FREE but seats are available on first come first serve basis. So plan your coming weekends with a toast to Indian Cinema!

Opening Films :  At 5:30 pm, 17th June 2011(Friday)

**PISTULYA   –  Dir: Nagraj Manjule. Marathi, Telugu/ Digital/15min/EST. Best Debut Director & Special Mention Award

DABANGG – Dir: Abhinav Kashyap. Hindi/35mm/127min/EST. Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment

DATE : 18.06.2011 / Saturday


**GERM –  Dir: Snehal R. Nair.  Hindi/35mm/24min/EST. Best Non-feature Film & Best Editing

BETTADA JEEVA –  Dir: P. Sheshadri. Kannada/35mm/114min/EST. Best Film on Environment Conservation & Special Mention Award

02:00 pm

**SHYAM RAAT SEHER ( A ) – Dir: Arunima Sharma Hindi/35mm/23min. Best Direction & Best Cinematography

HEJJEGALU – Dir: P.R. Ramadas Naidu. Kannada/35mm/103min/EST. Best Children’s Film

05:00 pm

**ADVAITHAM – Dir: Pradeep Maadugula. Telugu/Digital/27min. Best Educational Film

PUTTAKKANA HIGHWAY – Dir: B. Suresha. Kannada/35mm/116min/EST.  Best Kannada Film

19.06.2011 // Sunday

10:30 am

**NILAMADHABA – Dir: Dilip Patnaik. English/Digital/52min/EST. Best Biographical Film

JETUKA PATOR DARE – Dir: Jadumoni Dutta. Assamese/35mm/90min/EST.  Best Assamese Film

02:00 pm

AMI AADU – Dir: Somnath Gupta. Bengali/35mm/121min/EST. Best Bengali Film


MONER MANUSH – Dir: Goutam Ghose. Bengali/35mm/158min/EST. Best Film on National Integration & Best Make-up Artist

25.06.2011// Saturday


**BOXING LADIES – Dir: Anusha Nandakumar. Hindi/Digital/26min/EST. Best Film on Sports

CHITRASUTRAM ( A ) – Dir: Vipin Vijay. Malayalam/35mm/104min/EST. Best Audiography ( Sound Design)


**IRON IS HOT – Dir: Biju Toppo & Meghnath Bhattacharjee. English/Digital/35min/EST. Best Environment Film

ADAMINTE MAKAN ABU – Dir: Salim Ahamed. Malayalam/Digital/113min. Best Feature Film, Best Actor, Best Cinematographer & Best Music Direction (Background score)


**KAL 15 AUGUST DUKAN BAND RAHEGI ( A ) – Dir: Prateek Vats. Hindi/35mm/11min/EST. Best Short Fiction Film

VEETTILEKKULLA VAZHI – Dir: Dr Biju. Malayalam/35mm/95min/EST. Best Malayalam Film

26.06.2011 // Sunday

10:30 am

**THE ZELIANGRONGS – Dir: Ronel Haobam. Manipuri,English/ Digital/52min/. Special Mention Award

I AM KALAM – Dir: Neel Madhab Panda. Hindi/35mm/87min/EST. Best Child Artist

02:00 pm

**HEART TO HEART – Dir: Bachaspati Mayum Sunzu. Manipuri, English/Digital/37min/EST. Best Science and Technology Film

**LEAVING HOME – Dir: Jaideep Verma. English/Digital/115min/EST. Best Arts and Culture Film


**EK ROPA DHAN – Dir: Biju Toppo & Meghnath Bhattacharjee. Hindi/Digital/26min/ Best Promotional Film

MEE SINDHUTAI SAPKAL – Dir: Ananth Narayan Mahadevan. Marathi/35mm/105min. Special Jury Award, Best Male Playback Singer, Best Screenplay (Adapted) & Best Dialogues

02.07.2011 // Saturday

10:30 am

CHAMPIONS – Dir: Ramesh More. Marathi/35mm/118min/EST. Best Film on Social Issues & Best Child Artist


MALA AAI VHHAYCHAY – Dir: Samruddhi Porey. Marathi/35mm/115min/EST. Best Marathi Film


BABOO BAND BAAJA – Dir: Rajesh Pinjani. Marathi/35mm/127min/EST.  Best Debut Film, Best Actress & Best Child Artist

03.07.2011 // Sunday


MYNAA – Dir: Prabhu Solomon. Tamil/35mm/143min/EST. Best Supporting Actor

02:00 pm

AADUKALAM – Dir: Vetrimaran. Tamil/35mm/152min/EST. Best Direction, Best Actor, Best Screenplay(Original), Best Editing, Best Choreography & Special Mention Award


ENTHIRAN – Dir: S. Shankar. Tamil/35mm/165min/EST. Best Production Design & Best Special Effects

09.07.2011 //Saturday


NAMMA GRAMAM – Dir: Mohan Sharma. Tamil/35mm/131min/EST. Best Supporting Actress & Best Costume Design


THENMERKKU PARUVAKKATRU – Dir: Seenu Ramasamy. Tamil/35mm/125min/EST. Best Tamil Film, Best Actress & Best Lyrics


MEMORIES IN MARCH – Dir: Sanjoy Nag. English/35mm/104min. Best English Film

10.07.2011 //Sunday


**OTTAYAL (One Woman: Alone) – Dir: Shiny Jacob Benjamin. Malayalam/Digital/70min/EST. Special Mention Award

**JOHAR WELCOME TO OUR WORLD – Dir: Nilanjan Bhattacharya. Hindi, English/Digital/58min/EST. Best Narration (Writing)


**A PESTERING JOURNEY – Dir: K.R. Manoj. Malayalam, Punjabi, Hindi, English, Tulu/Digital/66min/EST. Best Investigative Film & Best Audiography

**KABIRA KHADA BAZAAR MEIN – Dir: Shabnam Virmani. Hindi/Digital/94min/EST. Special Jury Award

05:00 pm

ISHQIYA ( A ) – Dir: Abhishek Chaubey. Hindi/35mm/116min. Best Female Playback Singer, Best Audiography ( Location Sound recordist & Re-recordist of the final mixed track) & Best Music Director( Songs)

16.07.2011 // Saturday

10:30 am

**UNDERSTANDING TRAFFICKING ( A ) – Dir: Ananya Chakraborti. Bengali, Hindi, English/ Digital/87min/EST. Best Film on Social Issues


**SONGS OF MASHANGVA – Dir: Oinam Doren. Tangkhul, Manipuri, English/ Digital/62min/EST. Best Ethnographic Film

**LOVE IN INDIA ( A ) – Dir: Kaushik Mukherjee. Bengali, English/Digital/90min. Best Film on Family values


DO DOONI CHAR – Dir: Habib Faisal. Hindi/35mm/118min. Best Hindi Film


– ** Non- feature films

– All Non-English and Non- Hindi Films carry English Subtitles.

– Entry is free, on first-come-first-served basis.

– Management has the right to reserve some seats in each show

– Programme subject to Change

– Handbags, helmets, camera’s, eatables etc. are not permitted inside Auditorium

(PS – Can we please have something in Mumbai also?)                

KanchivaramWho says National Awards don’t matter! It does, atleast to few. And things do change accordingly.

After bagging two national awards (best actor & best film) for Kanchivaran, the makers of the film Percept Picture Company are now ready to have an all India release of the film on 30th October. Almost 2 years after its completion. If am not wrong, earlier the film had it release in Chennai only.

Directed by Priyadarshan, the film is a must watch! If for nothing else, watch it only because of Prakash Raj. What a powerful and moving performance. Saw such acting after a long time. And he looks so so differnt in real life!

Priyadarshan wanted to make the film nine years ago but had no takers that time. Mohanlal was suppose to star in it. But when Priyan got producers for the film, Mohanlal was busy with other films. And so Prakashraj came onboard!

All you who crib about not getting to see regional films, dont miss it this time. And here is a trailer of the film…


Prakash RajYes, its confirmed. The rumours have been floating around for since last few hours. And its all true.

Prakash Raj has bagged the National Award for Best Actor for his performance in Priyadarshan’s film Kanchivaram. Atleast this one should be non controversial. Its a truly deserving one. I remember watching it at the Mumbai premeire of the film. And since then, I cant remember anything so powerful and so moving. Its just stunning!

In the film, Prakash Raj plays the role of a weaver who dreams about a silk saree for his daughter’s marriage.  What looks like a simple dream is much more complex than one can imagine. Money, politics, unions, the problems never end.

The acting is so powerful that the young and the old Prakash Raj seem to be two different actors. If you havent seen it yet, do watch. If for nothing else, just for the acting! Happy to hear this news about Prakash Raj, his third National Award! More power to actors like him!

BTW, rumours doing the round suggests that Priyadarshan has also bagged the National Award for Best Director and the film Kanchivaram will get it for Best Film.

Update : Gandhi My Father has also bagged three awars. Best Film ( Prdoucer – Anil Kapoor. Am guessing this one is the hindi language category), Feroze Abbas Khan ( Best Screenplay) and Darshan Zariwalla (Best Supporting Actor).