Films from Indian directors lapped up most of the awards apart from one film from Afghanistan and another from Bangladesh.
The 2nd South Asian Short film Festival organised by the Federation of Film Societies of India – FFSI (Eastern Region) closed Sunday evening (31 March) at Nandan, the Film Centre in Calcutta, with a fabulous Award Ceremony presided over by Mr. Kiran V Shantaram, President of FFSI, where the eminent filmmakers and film personalities Mr. Sekhar Das, Mr. Shyamol Karmakar, Ms. Oindrilla Hazra and Mr. Siladitya Sen were present as the Guests of Honour.
A selected package of the award winning films will be screened tomorrow, 1st April Monday at 5.30PM at the Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute Calcutta in a Special Screening Program to be presided over by Ms. Debamitra Mitra, Director of SRFTI. The program is open to all.
Following Awards were given today at the Award Ceremony to the winners:
- Satyajit Ray Golden Award for the Best Documentary (Cash, Trophy and Citation): Swimming Through The Darkness (India, 70M) by Supriyo Sen. (Citation: The filmmaker’s achievement in this technically brilliant film which emphasizes a blind man’s struggle to realize his dream of becoming a champion swimmer is to convince us to seamlessly empathise and socially integrate the specially abled!)
- Mrinal Sen Golden Award for the Best Direction in Documentary (Cash, Trophy and Citation): Suranjay, for the film Traces: Stories (India, 25M). (Citation: By combining dissonance in compelling images and evocative voiceover fragments, the story of a seashore town and its community is effectively conveyed. The film is a bold experiment in personal documentary combining the contemporary artifice of mythmaking, with a celebration of transience and continuity.)
- Satyajit Ray Silver Award for the 2nd Best Documentary (Cash, Trophy and Citation): I am Bonnie (India, 45M) by Farha Khatun, Sourabh Kanti Dutta and Satarupa Santra. (Citation: The film makers’ ability in normalizing the journey of a footballer forced out of the game into an identity of a transgender is worth attention. Interwoven with tenderness into this journey is a riveting story of a young couples’ struggle to earn their livelihood and respect. This film coaxes viewers to revise the way one approaches issues of gender, society, sports and livelihoods.)
- Satyajit Ray Bronze Award for the 3rd Best Documentary (Trophy and Citation) JOINTLY: Theatre of The Earth (India, 52M) by Oinam Doren (Citation: The film captures the lives of an artiste couple whose survival is devoted to creating a theatre based on their unique philosophy and folk roots!)
- Satyajit Ray Bronze Award for the 3rd Best Documentary (Trophy and Citation) JOINTLY: Those Who Dance Will Survive (India, 70M) by Biju Toppo and Meghnath (Citation: A powerful tribute of a son to his profoundly rooted father, a musician, a poet and a scholar who had an ability to bring diverse people together. The film intertwines a rich biography with the ethnologically powerful imagery of a sociopolitical and cultural landscape of modern India’s heartland, making it a film that needs to be seen..)
- Ritwik Ghatak Golden Award for the Best Short Fiction (Cash, Trophy and Citation): Fish Monologue / Meenalaap (India-Bangladesh, 28M) by Subarna Senjutee Tushee (Citation: For keeping a striking balance between sublime aesthetics and sensible tales of poverty and malleability of hardworking people in suffocating living conditions!)
- V Shantharam Golden Award for the Best Direction in Short Fiction (Cash, Trophy and Citation): Chabname Zariab for the film The Camel Boy (Afghanisthan, 15M) (Citation: for powerful mise-en-scene in a touching portrayal of child trafficking and labour in a troubled region defying palpable odds at large!)
- Ritwik Ghatak Silver Award for the 2nd Best Short Fiction (Cash, Trophy and Citation): Written By? (India, 16M) by Kankana Chakraborty (Citation: For an intelligent, imposing cinematic exposure of the question of authorship and the rights of intellectual property within all too grim reality!)
- Ritwik Ghatak Bronze Award for the 3rd Best Short Fiction (Trophy and Citation): The Disguise (India, 18M) by Sandeep A Varma (Citation: for an engaging drama involving the many facets of the bourqa while exposing the present state of Islamophobia, supported by a well-written script!)
- Special Jury Award (Trophy and Citation): Silence (Bangladesh, 12M) by Amitabh Reza Chowdhury (Citation: for handling a subject with explicit histrionics and sound design in cinematic idiom to depict wishful thinking of tiding over helplessness and hardships!)
- Chidananda Dasgupta Critics’ Award for the Best Short Fiction (Cash, Trophy and Citation): The Stitch (India, 8M) by Asiya Zahoor. (Citation: A trivial incident in the life of a Kashmiri school-girl is used as a metaphor for the predicament Kashmiris find themselves in. Brilliantly understated, the film uses the short film format judiciously!)
- P K Nair Critics’ Award for the Best Documentary (Cash, Trophy and Citation): Displacement and Resilience (India, 60M) by Chandita Mukherjee (Citation: Homeless and country-less, refugees pay the price for wars and purges. The film takes us deep into their psyche and focuses on the humanitarian work being done for their rehabilitation!)
Besides the above awards, following awards were also given in this Award Ceremony:
- Hiralal Sen Award for the Best Bengali Film of 2018: Rainbow Jelly by Soukarya Ghosal
- FFSI Excellence Award for the Extraordinary Contribution in Film Society Movement: Sidheswar Acharyya, Cine Society Kalna