Extravagant India awards in Paris was nothing short of extravagant

NEW DELHI: Lunch Box by Ritesh Batra, which missed the Indian selection to the Oscars by a whisker, was voted the best film at the Extravagant India awards in Paris.

Path-breaking filmmaker Anurag Kashyap received the best director award for his film Ugly, which is also being featured in a retrospective of his films in Europe as part of the Europalia.India Festival.

The late Rituparno Ghosh, who passed away earlier this year, was named best actor for his own film Chitrangada.

Actress Vidya Balan received the best actress award for The Dirty Picture by Milan Luthria and Kahaani by Sujoy Ghosh.

The Festival was held from 16 to 22 October in Paris. The jury for the feature films comprised Coline Serreau (director and President of the jury), Armand Amar (composer), Joël Farges (producer).

 The best documentary award went to Children of the Pyre by Rajesh S Jala while the renowned Pan Nalin’s film Faith Connection got a special jury mention.  

The Jury for documentaries comprised Euzhan Palcy (director and President of the jury), Charlotte Uzu (Les Fims d’ici), and Claude Gilaizeau (Productions de la Lanterne).

The film Allah is Great by Andrea Iannetta, which was produced by the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune, won the Best Short film award.

The Jury for short films was Jean-Charles Mille (distribution Premium Films – President of the jury), Abel Jafry (actor), and Benoit Blanchard (producer).

The Feature Jury president Coline Serreau said: “The selection was fascinating, rich and diverse. We plunged into the movies with delight, and with the feeling to approach and to discover this boiling continent, in which all the contradictions of the world in future are at work.”

He added: “I hope that the Indian cinema will take from now on its just place in the French public. Long life to this festival, whose 2014 edition, I would love to already know.”

Euzhan Palcy said: “This first edition of the Festival offered us an Indian cinema of a high quality and which participates of the cultural diversity which the world needs. By supporting this festival, France will continue to play its leader's role for the cultural diversity.”

Happiness Distribution is distributing Batra’s film in France on 13 December, while Kashyap’s film will be released in France in March 2014.

Sophie Dulac Distribution will distribute Faith Connection by Pal Nalin under the title Kumbh Mela, Les chemins de la Foi.

The Indian Delegation comprised Irrfan Khan (actor in Lunchbox), Prakash Jha (director of Raajneeti), Sujoy Gosh (director of Kahaani), Rajesh S. Jala (director of Children of the Pyre, Andrea Ianneta (director of Allah is Great), Film Federation of India President Bijay Khemka and Secretary General Supran Sen, Manoj Srivastava who is Head of Bollywood the film City project Marwan, Ranvir Nayar who is Director of Media India, Sutapa Sikdar (scriptwriter), and  Ramesh Tekwani, President of  “Docs & Shorts”.

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