Vidya Balan, Suriya, Manoj Bajpayee, Samantha Akkineni, Mirzapur And Soorarai Pottru Bag Top Honours At The Indian Film Festival Of Melbourne 2021

At the virtual award ceremony of The Indian Film Festival Of Melbourne 2021, held today, Vidya Balan, Suriya, Manoj Bajpayee, Samantha Akkineni, Mirzapur And Soorarai Pottru bagged top honours

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Vidya Balan, Suriya, Manoj Bajpayee, Samantha Akkineni, Mirzapur And Soorarai Pottru Bag Top Honours At The Indian Film Festival Of Melbourne 2021
Today the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM) announced the winners for its 12th edition, which was held virtually. Representing the theme of Diversity through Cinema, this year’s festival boasted an impressive line-up of feature and short films from across the cinemas of India.

The festival was attended by various dignitaries of Australia, The Honourable Linda Dessau AC, Governor of Victoria Mr. Andrew Howard AM QC, The Honourable Minister Danny Pearson, Minister for Creative Industries, Regulatory Reform, Government Services and Assistant Treasurer, The Honourable Minister Luke Donellan, Minister for Child Protection, Disability, Ageing and Carers, Ms. Caroline Pitcher, CEO Film Victoria.

From the Indian film industry, Anurag Kashyap, Shoojit Sircar, Thiagarajan Kumararaja and Sriram Raghavan were there amongst the presenters. Also present, were the jury members including Richa Chadha, Guneet Monga, Onir, Australian filmmaker Geoffrey Wright and Oscar-nominated editor Jill Bilcock.

Versatile actor Pankaj Tripathi received the Prestigious Diversity in Cinema Award. He checked into the virtual ceremony from the mountains of Leh-Ladakh, where he is currently shooting for one of his upcoming projects. His Gangs Of Wasseypur director Anurag introduced him and he thanked him in return saying, “The man who is here to give me this award, he is the one who discovered my talent. So, thanks to Anurag sir. He is the one who rediscovered my talent. So, I’m grateful to you. I’m grateful to all my directors, writers for having me part of their projects.”

In the films category, Soorarai Pottru walked away with the Best Feature Film and Suriya won the Best Actor award for the same. The actor noted that it was his first award for the film and that made it really special. “This is one of the first films that came to me during the pandemic. In my career, I felt bored with what I was doing after having worked for 20 years. So, thanks to my director Sudha, this film was her 10 years dream. She worked four years on just writing this film. The character of Maara will not be anything without her.”

Vidya Balan won the Best Actress award for Sherni, while a special mention went to Nimisha Sajayan for her part in The Great Indian Kitchen. Vidya was unable to attend the ceremony due to her Jalsa shoot, but she sent a video message acknowledging the honour bestowed on her, while her producer Vikram Malhotra thanked everyone on her behalf. Anurag Basu picked up the Best Director trophy for the feature film Ludo. “This award shows us that despite all the situations that we are in, cinema will continue to be celebrated,” he said.

In the web series category, The Family Man 2 had a big day as both its leading actors, Manoj Bajpayee and Samantha Akkineni won the Best Actor and Best Actress awards respectively while Mirzapur 2 took home the Best Series Award. In his speech, Manoj thanked the whole team behind the show, adding, “The last time I was at this festival I took the Best Actor award for Gali Guleiyan. I’m grateful to the festival.” Samantha noted that this was her first award for the show and she couldn’t have asked for a better entry in OTT. “Thanks to Raj and DK to see past the cute girl image I have and to give me this role which is so different from what I have done so far and has so many layers and such diverse parts to it. It’s my big dive into OTT and what an amazing show to do it with.”

Among other awards, Sona Mohapatra’s Shut Up Sona won the Best Documentary while Shabana Azmi and Swara Bhasker-led Sheer Qorma won the Equality in Cinema (Short Film) award. The Equality in Cinema Award (Feature Film) went to The Great Indian Kitchen. Best Indie Film went to Fire in the Mountains while a special Disruptor Award was given to Sanal Kumar Sasidharan.

Congratulating all the winners and their teams, the festival’s director Mitu Bhowmick Lange, said, “It is about time that we have conversations in cinema and about cinema that are not mainstream and biased. It is time to present the diverse sensibilities through narratives that are ground-breaking and all the winners of the IFFM awards symbolise this fervour of thought.”

Image Source: Instagram/samantharuthprabhuoffl/bajpayee.manoj/balanvidya/_sooraraipottru/pankajtripathi ,spotboye archives