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Film on Tagore's sister-in-law wins top award at Washington S. Asian Fillmfest

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NEW DELHI: Bengali film Kadambari by Suman Ghosh about Kadambari Devi, sister-in-law of Rabindranath Tagore with whom he is supposed to have had a close personal relationship and who eventually committed suicide, won the Best Film award at the Fourth Washington South Asian Film Festival.

 

Chaitanya Tamhane won the Best Director award for Court, a Hindi and Marathi film, which is India?s official entry for the Academy Awards.

 

Aparna Sen received the Special Achievement Award, while Huma Beg from Pakistan (Veils and Walls) got the Special Appreciation Award Documentary. Sarmad Khoosat received the Special Award for Contribution to Pakistan TV and Films.

 

The Festival of independent alternate cinema on the theme of ?Art and culture transcend boundaries? had 14 features, 10 shorts and one documentary from India, Pakistan, the United States and Canada.

 

Rough Book by Anant Mahadevan won the best story award, while the actor awards went to Kishor Kadam (Partu) and Konkona Sen Sharma (Kadambari). Bonjour ji by Satinder Kassona was adjudged the best short film.

 

The audience rated Partu by Indian-American Nitin Adsul as the Best Film and Billu?s Flight by India?s Mayank Tripathi as the Best Short Film.

 

Indian-American entrepreneur and philanthropist Frank Islam, who inaugurated the festival said the theme of the Festival reflected a reality. ?This is so even though we live in a deeply divided world. These are unsettling times-wars, refugees, terrorism, hate crimes of all types, and boundary disputes. Events such as these dominate the headlines daily,? he said.

He said marketing was a big challenge for independent films, which had to compete with extravagant, studio-backed and star-studded films from Bollywood.

 

In order to succeed, independent films from India must overcome this stereotype and sea of noise, Islam said.

 

?This year there was more awareness about the film festival here in the US and in South Asian countries,? said DCSAFF executive director Manoj Singh.

 

Saari Raat, Aparna Sen?s film adaptation of Bengali playwright Badal Sircar?s drama, was the opening film. There were three films from South Asian Americans: PartuMiss India America by Ravi Kapoor and For Here or To Go by Rucha Humnabadkar.

 

The festival also featured two Pakistani films, Manto by actor-director Sarmad Sultan Khoosat on the life of short-story writer Sadat Hassan Manto, and Shah by actor-director on Pakistani boxer Hussain Shah who won the bronze medal at 1988 Summer Olympics. 

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