Over 25 films awarded at Mumbai Women’s International Film Festival

NEW DELHI: Veteran actor Shabaza Azmi and senior actor-director Nandita Das along with renowned choreographer Saroj Khan were awarded Awards of Excellence at the Mumbai Women’s International Film Festival (MWIFF) in the western metropolis.

The seven-day Festival organised by Oculus Creations had screened 210 films from across 70 nations and had given women filmmakers an international platform to screen their talents.

While ‘Aabida’ by Maaria Sayeed of India won the best short film award, the largest number of awards went to ‘Bawra Mann’ for editing by Meghna Ashchitr and screenplay by Mitu Kumar and Abhilasha Nagi. The runner-up in the short film category was Israel’s ‘Rpomancy’ by Tal Getritman, Shea E Butler from US won the director’s award for ‘The Trial of Ben Barry’, while the cinematography award went to the British Chris Moon for ‘The Other Woman’. Shazia Shrivatava and Sharifa Roy got the best story award for ‘Do Pahar’.

‘Connected’ by America’s Tiffany Shiain got the best documentary award, and the runner-up award went to India’s ‘Woman Prayed and preyed upon’ by Kankana Chakraborty.

‘Silence’ by Avani Saxena and ‘Delivering Hope’ by Niraj Upadhyaya won the best and runner-up awards respectively in the ‘Her’ films category.

Spain’s ‘A soft scent of Cinnamon’ by Giovanna Ribes won the Best Feature film award.

The Audience Choice Awards went to three documentaries – ‘Gawah’ by Gauri Chadha, ‘Scattered Windows, Connected Doors’ by Ms Roohi Dixit and ms Ziba Bhagwagar, and America’s ‘Beyond Silence’ by Vidyut Latay - and two short films: ‘Melody’ by Hana Makki of Dubai, and ;Happy Birthday’ by Sheetal Shetty.

The jury choice award went to the documentary ‘Gun and a God’ by Sonia Nepram of India and the short ‘725’ by America’s Irawati Athalye. Five documentaries came in for special mention: ‘In Our own way’ by Italy’s Wilma Massucco, India’s ‘Shivkalin Mardani Khel’ by Sailee Chandrakant Sane, ‘A country for my daughter’ by South Africa’s ‘Lucilla Blankenberg, India’s ‘My Kashmir’ by Madhuri Mohindar and Vaishali Sinha, and Italy’s ‘Me and Marti’ by Martina Vander Veer.

Khan said: ‘The Bollywood fraternity respects the women filmmaker, long live women power’.

Das said, ‘The percentage of women filmmakers in the industry is very less. I am very happy that women directors, women cinematographers, women editors and all the women technicians who work behind the camera are being felicitated and their work is being showcased at different places in Mumbai from the past one week and I’m also glad that my film ‘Firaaq’ was a part of it.’

Deepa Bhatia, the editor of films ‘Kai Po Che’, ‘Student of The Year’ and ‘My Name Is Khan’ after her felicitation with the Award of Excellence said that this concept will help to uplift women filmmakers.

Singer Shibani Kashyap, who was also awarded, rendered her famous song ‘Sajna Aa Bhi Jaa’.  

Others felicitated included filmmakers Alankrita Shrivastava and Samruddhi Porey.

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