MUMBAI: With every passing day, the independent filmmakers are becoming a force to reckon with. The young, emerging filmmakers just don’t satisfy their passion for filmmaking but also put across the message they believe in through their films. And if the works of these young filmmakers are recognised, the work just gets better.
The Sundance Institute and Mahindra did that only by announcing the winners of the 2014 Sundance Institute, Mahindra Global Filmmaking Award, in recognition and support of emerging independent filmmakers from around the world. The four winning directors and projects are: Hong Khaou for the film Monsoon from Vietnam/UK; Tobias Lindholm for A War from Denmark; Ashlee Page for Archive from Australia; and Neeraj Ghaywan for Fly Away Solo from India.
The awards were presented at a private ceremony at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, U.S.A. by Mumbai Mantra chairman Rohit Khattar, Feature Film Program, Sundance Institute founding director Michelle Satter, and International Sundance Institute Feature Film Program director Paul Federbush.
Ecstatic about the honour Neeraj Ghaywan posted on Facebook, “I kept this a secret for a long time but now it's out. I am at Sundance film festival in Utah. I just got awarded the Global Filmmaker award by Mahindra Sundance. This is for my first feature film Fly Away Solo (Ud Jaayega). This is for us Varun Grover!! Thank you Anurag Kashyap, Dipa De Motwane, Vikramaditya Motwane, Vikas Bahl, Madhu Mantena,Guneet Monga, Aparna Purohit, Avinash Arun, Utpal Pathak, Abhay Tripathi in helping me get to this point. Special thanks to a lot of the cast and crew, who I can't mention here as of now.”
Now in its fourth year, 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 known throughout the world for its dedication to excellence and to social responsibility, and the nonprofit Sundance Institute, one of the world’s leading cultural organizations.
The partnership, which also includes the establishment of the Mumbai Mantra, Sundance Institute Screenwriters Lab in India, began in 2011. The Screenwriters Lab will announce the selection for its third edition in March. The lab brings together eight Indian screenwriters from across the world to develop their works under the guidance of accomplished international screenwriters in an environment that encourages storytelling at the highest level.
Each of the four winning filmmakers will receive a cash award of $10,000, attendance at the Sundance Film Festival for targeted industry and creative meetings, year-round mentoring from Institute staff and creative advisors, eligibility to participate in a Sundance Institute Lab, and ongoing creative and strategic support from Sundance Institute’s renowned Feature Film Program.
“Sundance Institute shares with Mahindra Group a joint global commitment to nurturing new artists,” said Sundance Institute President and Founder Robert Redford. “India is one of the most extraordinary cultures in the world, with the support of Anand Mahindra and his group, Sundance Institute screenwriters’ lab can support the next generation of their storytellers.”
“At a time when there is no dearth of issues around the world that are crying out to be heard, the Global Filmmaking award recognizes independent film-makers who give expression to those voices. 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,” said Mahindra Group chairman & managing director Anand Mahindra.