Interview Bengali Hindi

Happy I celebrated winning National Award at work, says Riddhi Sen

Post the Best Actor win for his performance in Kaushik Ganguly's Nagar Kirtan, the 19-year-old actor spoke to about his happiness and the need for such films to get recognized.

Roushni Sarkar

The feature film jury of the 65th Nataional Awards yesterday (13 April) announced the list of winners for 2017-18. Shekhar Kapur, the jury chairperson, named Riddhi Sen for the Best Actor Award for his performance in Kaushik Ganguly's Nagar Kirtan (2017).

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The achievement is a proud moment not only for Riddhi, but is an unprecedented one for the Bengali film industry too. While announcing the list of the awardees, Kapur stated, “Best Actor Riddhi Sen from Bengali film Nagar Kirtan. It is the best performance I have seen in 10 years, it is so good!” spoke to the awardee to know his reaction on winning the National Award at the young age of 19.

“I honestly did not expect to get the award. In fact, I was discussing about the selections for the National Award yesterday with Sirsha da as I had no knowledge of it. Today, while I was shooting for Eela, someone called me up and gave me the news. First, I did not believe and discarded the chances totally!” Riddhi said.

“After that, when the news was being telecast in the major Bengali television channels, Ma called me up and confirmed it to be true. It was truly, truly unbelievable! But I felt good that while everyone else celebrates such moments partying, I celebrated through my work, shooting on the sets,” he added.

The shooting floor too got into a mood of celebration as Sen shared the news with director on set, Pradeep Sarkar. The crew brought in a cake to celebrate Riddhi's achievement. “I am glad that everyone is relishing the moment. Pradeep da also promised me a treat,” chuckled the young actor.

Riddhi says his parents, Kaushik and Reshmi Sen, are proud and happy for his success. “Their [parents'] happiness is truly unparalleled. This moment is even more special because whatever I have achieved today is because of Maa. That acting is my primary passion and area of education, has always been deeply instilled and inspired in me by my mom. She has always made sure that I never shift my focus from acting. Therefore, more than anyone else, Maa singularly deserves the credit of the reward,” he said.

In an earlier interview with, Riddhi had stated that films such as Nagar Kirtan, that deal with the sensitive issue of transgender and homosexuality, need the validation of international film festivals to draw the audience to the theatre.

Besides the Best Actor award, the film also won the Special Jury Award, Best Makeup Artist award (Ram Rajjak) and Best Costume Design award (Gobinda Mondal). Riddhi is confident that the National Awards will help the cause of the film. “In that case, yes, I feel that the platform of National Award would help the film reach a broader audience. I must also mention that I won’t have delivered the performance without Kaushik Kaku’s guidance and Riwtick da’s contribution,” he said.

The proud director of Nagar Kirtan, Ganguly, stated, "I cannot really explain the extent of my happiness. Legends such as Uttam Kumar and Soumitra Chatterjee have not been bestowed with the honour. But Riddhi's acheivement at such a young age has filled us with immense pride. We should not forget that he had to compete with Soumitra Chatterjee, Prasenjit Chatterjee and several talented actors from the south Indian film industry."

Actor Prasenjit exclaimed that he knew Riddhi would be selected for the National awards. "After watching the trailer, I had told Kaushik da that Riddhi would certainly be chosen for his performance if politics doesn't intervene in the selection process," he said.