News Assam Chhatisgarhi Kannada Malayalam Marathi

Panghrun wins Best Film, Special Jury Award for Biriyaani at BIFFES 2020

Bodo film, Jwlwi (The Seed) gets Special Jury Mention, while The Dog and his Man from Chhatisgarh wins the FIPRESCI International Critics Jury Award.

Sukhpreet Kahlon

Marathi feature Panghrun, written, directed and produced by Mahesh Manjrekar, won the top award in the Indian cinema competition at the at the Bengaluru International Film Festival (BIFFES). The film was awarded the Best Film award for, “a film which shows complexity of human emotions and relationships in a very aesthetic manner with cinematic excellence.” 

The Marathi film is set in the era before Independence, when widow remarriage was hesitatingly accepted and underage girls were being married off to much older men. The film also delves into the desires and emotions of women, while looking at the traditional roles in which they are trapped, leaving them no outlet for expression.

The Special Jury Award in the same category was awarded to Sajin Baabu for the Malayalam film Biriyaani for, “a powerful portrayal of the struggles and plight of suppressed women in society.” The film chronicles the life of a Muslim woman Khadeeja, who is trapped in the role of a wife, unable to express her desires and feelings. When her husband abandons her, she sets out on a path to explore her desires. But life and society have other plans for her.

The Bodo film, Jwlwi (The Seed) was given a Special Jury Mention for “a hope and positivity shown in insurgency-affected area.” Writer and director Rajni Basumatary, who has also acted in the film, takes a hard look at insurgency in the North East, while concentrating on the lives of those who are left behind at home, facing the consequences of the choices made by men.

Siddharth Tripathy’s Chattisgarhi film, The Dog and his Man won the FIPRESCI International Critics Jury Award, “for its graceful ability to tell a touching story at once local and universal, one where the daily life of a humble man and the nature of which he’s a part are trampled by the logic of profit.” The film takes a look at the impact of industrial development on the lives of ordinary people and their ways of living.

In the Kannada competition section, Hemanth Murali Rao’s Kavaludari won the Best Film Award “for its thrilling story and scripting, scintillating music, natural performances and competent direction.” The first runner-up was Sachin Shetty’s Ondu Shikariya Kathe, which won “for its presentation of the theme of human selfishness and its impact on society, fine scripting, pleasing visuals and good direction.”

Dayal Padmanabhan’s Ranganayaki was the second runner-up, “for its inspiring story of an young rape victim recovering her identity in a hostile world presented through incisive dialogues and powerful performance of the protagonist to create social concern on the issue.” The Special Jury Mention was given to Selfie Mummy Google Daddy by R Madhuchandra “for its simple narration of a contemporary societal concern of obsession with mobile phones and its consequent impact on children.”

The NETPAC International Jury Prize was awarded to Preetham R Shetty’s Pingara “for its portrayal of human sensitive emotions, equality between castes, confessing human mistakes in front of God. It also showcases the traditional rituals of Tulunaadu which is part of our state.”

In the Kannada Popular Entertainment section, the award for Most Popular Kannada Film was given to Munirathna Kurukshetra. Directed by Naganna, the film was awarded “for being a rare mythological film with grandeur, lovely costumes, beautiful art design and rich dialogues.” Jayathirtha B V’s Bell Bottom was judged the Second Popular Kannada Film and V Harikrishna/Pon Kumaran’s Yajamana was presented the award for the Third Popular Kannada Film. 

Amongst the international films, Happy Old Year from Thailand won the award for Best Asian Film. Directed and produced by Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit, the film won “for its original, sophisticated and intricate analysis of the dynamics within family relationships, making it a sensitive portrayal of the global theme of past versus present, and about what needs to be disposed and what values need to remain in life.”

The closing ceremony was attended by the governor of Karnataka, Vajubhai Vala, deputy chief minister and minister for higher education, Dr CN Ashwathnarayan, amongst other dignitaries and was held at the Vidhan Soudha.  

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Bengaluru International Film Festival