Director Thiagarajan Kumararaja’s feature Aaranya Kaandam (Anima and Persona), starring Jackie Shroff, Sampath Raj, Yasmin Ponnappa and Ravi Krishna has won the Western Union Audience Award at the 3rd London Indian Film Festival (LIFF, June 20 – July 3). SP Charan’s Capital Film Works produced the film.
Kumararaja said: “I don’t know what to say. It’s nice to know that people in Europe loved the film and in fact, that people across continents love the film. It also worked with audiences in the US and with the jury at the Indian National Awards. And it is appreciated now in Europe also. I’m thrilled.”
Charan said: “I’m happy and proud of Aaranya Kaandam’s success this year. On behalf of Capital Film Works and the crew of Aaranya Kaandam, I would like to first of all congratulate London Indian Film Festival on a successful event this year and secondly thank them for such a prestigious honour bestowed on my movie.”
Also at the festival this year’s Satyait Ray Foundation Short Film Award and a £1,000 prize, was won by Neeraj Ghaywan’s Shor (Noise). Ghaywan said: “I’m delighted to accept this award from the Satyajit Ray Foundation and the London Indian Film Festival. More so because the name Ray is attached to it – such a legendary filmmaker that we all grew up on. I also want to thank Anurag Kashyap. He’s my mentor and I’m here because of him in this world of filmmaking. I’ve learnt everything from him.”
Meghna Gupta’s short Unravel was given a Special Mention by the jury that comprised directors Eran Creevy (Welcome To The Punch), Suri Krishnamma (The Grief Tourist), Andrew Hinton, winner of the 2011 Satyajit Ray Foundation Award for Amar, and Satwant Gill from LIFF.
The festival opened with the sold out UK Premiere of the much-lauded Cannes hit Gangs of Wasseypur, attended by Anurag Kashyap. It closed with a packed screening of the multiple award winning Bengali film Baishey Srabon (Seventh August). Lead actress of Baishey Srabon, Raima Sen walked the red carpet and participated in a post screening Q&A with director Sangeeta Datta (Life Goes On). The opening and closing nights of the festival are supported by Sanona, a brand new on-demand pay per view film service.
Raima Sen said: “It feels great to come back to London, especially for the London Indian Film Festival. It’s my first time at the festival and I’m very happy to know that two of my films Abosheshey (At the end of it all) and Baishey Srabon (Seventh August), were chosen. One hasn’t even been released in India yet and the other has been a huge success there. I think the festival is important, as it generates a lot of awareness, and it gives a wider audience to our cinema. I think it’s a great platform.”
London Indian Film Festival is supported by Film London’s Cultural Film Exhibition Fund through the National Lottery on behalf of the BFI. Partners include Arts Council of England, Cineworld Cinemas, Western Union, Incredible India, Grange Hotels, Skillset, The Nehru Centre, BollySpice, Asiana.tv and Zee TV amongst others.
|Jennifer and Saeed Jaffrey|