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An award brings focus to your film: Paddayi director Abhaya Simha


The National award-winning director was speaking at the 49th International Film Festival of India in Panaji, Goa.

Abhaya Simha

Blessy Chettiar

Tulu film Paddayi director Abhaya Simha is of the opinion that an award brings focus to one's film and it is taken more seriously.

Paddayi was screened in the Indian Panorama section of the 49th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa on 26 November. The film won the Best Tulu Film award at the 65th National Awards in 2017. Produced by Nithyananda Pai, Paddayi is a re-telling of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, set in a coastal Karanataka village.

Simha informed that this year Karnataka produced over 200 films, which averages to three theatrical releases a week. “In this big rush of mainstream films, our films get lost somewhere,” he said.

“An award brings focus to your film. It is taken much more seriously or at least it is given one chance for people to come and watch the film. Ultimately, if we make films and nobody watches it, it doesn’t serve any purpose. I think these awards have importance for getting the right kind of audience to the kind of films we make. That keeps us going, helps us make more films. Also, Indian Panorama selections are important because it takes us in the right direction,” said Simha.

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His sentiments were echoed by Ladakhi film Walking With The Wind director Praveen Morchhale, who insisted that awards are an assurance that you are on the right path.

Praveen Morchhale at IFFI 2018. Photos: Shutterbugs Images

“Personally, I give least importance to awards. Award is basically an assurance, a pat on your back that you are on the right path. It doesn’t mean that because I won my movie is superior to his movie, it’s not like that. Every story is different. Every filmmaker has his own art, craft, style and personalised way of telling stories,” said Morchhale.

Walking With The Wind follows the journey of a young boy Tsering (played by Sonam Wangyal) who tries to quietly fix his friend’s school chair which he has accidentally broken.

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The film has received great critical praise and has won the National film award for Best Film (Ladakhi), National award for Best Sound Design, Best Film award at Tertio Millennio Film Festival 2017, and has been screened at several national and international film festivals. Walking With The Wind is among the 12 films nominated for the ICFT UNESCO Gandhi Medal to be given at the closing ceremony of IFFI on 28 November. 

When asked how difficult or easy an award makes life for a filmmaker, Morchhale said, “If you look in terms producers running around us, that didn’t happen anyway. Of course, if you win at film festivals like IFFI or other international ones, suddenly it opens a lot of venues for collaborations, co-productions. More than that, as I said, it gives a good feeling and assurance of your style and the way you want to tell stories is in sync with the audience.”

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