Indian director Sarthak Dasgupta wins Sundance-Mahindra filmmaking award

MUMBAI: Indian filmmakers are going places. Sarthak Dasgupta from India and three other directors have won the 2013 Sundance-Mahindra Global filmmaking award that supports the emerging independent talent from around the world.

Dasgupta, who has previously written and directed award-winning film The Great Indian Butterfly, won the award this time for The Music Teacher. The other winners include Jonas Carpignano from Italy-US for A Chjana, Brazilian director Aly Muritiba for The Man Who Killed My Beloved Dead and Vendela Vida and Eva Weber for Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name, a UK-Germany-US co-production.

Each of the four winning filmmakers will receive a cash award of $10,000, attendance at the Sundance Film Festival and creative and strategic support.

This is the second year that one of the four award recipients is an Indian. Last year‘s winner was Shonali Bose for her project Margarita, With A Straw.

The awards were presented at a private ceremony at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah (US) by Rohit Khattar, Chairman, Mumbai Mantra, Michelle Satter, Founding Director, Feature Film Programme, Sundance Institute and Paul Federbush, International Director, Feature Film Programme, Sundance Institute.

"At a time when there is no dearth of issues around the world that are crying out to be heard, the Global Filmmaking award recognises independent filmmakers who give expression to those voices," said the Mahindra Group chairman and managing director Anand Mahindra in a statement.

"The Mahindra Group is proud to assist the Sundance Institute in this endeavour, which, in line with the Group‘s ‘Rise‘ philosophy, aims to drive a positive change in communities across the world," he added.

The nomination committee for the Indian Award winner included prominent names from Indian cinema like Sharmila Tagore, Anil Kapoor, Rajkumar Hirani, Ramesh Sippy, Shabana Azmi, Shyam Benegal, Anjum Rajabali, K Hariharan and Ira Bhaskar.

The Sundance Institute-Mahindra Global Filmmaking Award is part of a multifaceted collaboration that exemplifies a commitment to and support of world cinema by the Mahindra Group, one of the largest industrial conglomerates in India, and the non-profit Sundance Institute, one of the world‘s leading cultural organisations.

This is the third and the last of the three-year collaboration between the two organisations.

The Sundance-Mahindra Group‘s collaboration also includes the Mumbai Mantra Sundance Institute Screenwriters Lab in India, which provides an annual opportunity for eight screenwriters from India to develop their works under the guidance of accomplished international screenwriters.

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