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Nawazuddin, Tannishtha win Best Actors at Lonavala film fest

While Siddiqui was lauded for bringing alive the struggle of real life hero Dashrath Manjhi in Manjhi — The Mountain Man (2015), Chatterjee won for her portrayal of a teacher with a difference in Rough Book.


Acclaimed talents Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Tannishtha Chatterjee were on Monday (5 September) named Best Actors at the debut edition of the Lonavla International Film Festival India (LIFFI), where the Best Director honour went to Anant Mahadevan for Rough Book.

While Siddiqui was lauded for bringing alive the struggle of real life hero Dashrath Manjhi in Manjhi — The Mountain Man (2015), Chatterjee's portrayal of a teacher with a difference in Rough Book won the LIFFI jury's heart.

Chatterjee shared the Best Actor (Female) Award with her National School of Drama senior Bhagirathi Bai Kadam who has delivered a power-packed performance in Assamese film Scarecrow. The two shared a hug on stage, and Siddiqui's award was collected by Manjhi — The Mountain Man director Ketan Mehta.

LIFFI, organised by actor-writer-director Riju Bajaj, businessman Madhav Todi and San Francisco-based doctor Anamika Sharma at the Triose Plaza in Lonavala, began on September 1 with a promising gathering of some of the film industry's veterans like Govind Nihalani, Shyam Benegal, Naseeruddin Shah, Ratna Pathak Shah, Deepa Sahi and more.

The closing ceremony of the fest at the lush green hill station saw known names like filmmakers Mehta, Anees Bazmee, Vivek Agnihotri and actors like Chatterjee, Rajit Kapur and Dolly Thakore.

Mehta, who won a Special Jury Award for Manjhi — The Mountain Man, had three of his films showcased at the fest, including his much-talked about short film Toba Tek Singh

"I feel I've just started... It's been a great love affair with cinema, and I hope it lasts long," said Mehta, whose Rang Rasiya won the Best Art Director for Nitin Chandrakant Desai and even won in the Best Cinematography category. 

As a mark of recognising producers, LIFFI has instituted a Best Producer Award. It went to Susanta Kumar Mahapatra's Pahada Ra Luha. It's a project that was shot over a course of 25 years, featured non-actors and was also announced as the Best Film of LIFFI 2016.

Another award to have been launched was Best Ensemble Cast, which was bagged by Marathi road movie Highway — Ek Selfie Aarpaar, which saw actors like Huma Qureshi and Tisca Chopra in the frame. The film, by National Award winning filmmaker Umesh Kulkarni, also won Best Sound Design, Best Sound Design and Best Editor.

The Best Music Director Award, formed on the name of the late Khemchand Prakash, went to Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy for Marathi film Katyar Kaljat Ghusali.

The Best Debut Director Award went to Chennai-based Jayaprakash Radhakrishnan for his haunting drama Lens. He also won the Best Screenplay honour for the movie.

In the Best Supporting Actors category, Pallavi Joshi and Anupam Kher were awarded for Buddha In A Traffic Jam.

The Best Documentary went to Indian Women on Records; Best Short Film to The Internet Affair and Best Costume Design to Nachiket Barve for Katyar Kaljat Ghusli.