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DCSAFF 2017: Zeenat Aman gets lifetime achievement award, ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’ gets best film award

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Elephants in the Coffee, a documentary produced by Indian American D K Bhaskar and award-winning American journalist Dr Thomas Grant, received the Best Documentary award at DCSAFF event.   

Actress Zeenat Aman (second from left) is seen here at the 2017 Washington DC South Asian Film Festival (DCSAFF) with, from left to right: emcees Rajiv Paul and Meera Narasimhan; and co-founder and co-director of the festival, Geeta Singh

Bollywood thespian Zeenat Aman was felicitated with Life Time Achievement Award for her contributions to the Indian cinema at the DC South Asia Film Festival (DCSAFF). The three-day event started on September 8 and concluded on September 10.

Aman was presented with the award by the Indian American entrepreneur and philanthropist Frank Islam, on the closing night of the event.

“Zeenat, you defined girlhood and womanhood for generations of South Asians. Young and old alike cried when you cried on screen, and they laughed when you laughed,” Islam said.

Islam, founder of DC-area based The Frank Islam and Debbie Driesman Foundation, praised the variety of films presented at the event.

“As in past festivals, this festival featured a broad range of films including statement movies such as Lipstick Under My Burkha, which resulted in a vibrant discussion about the role of women in Indian society,” Islam said. “I understand that it had some trouble with India’s film censor board, but I am glad that it did very well in the box office.”

The following awards were presented during the event: Best Feature Film, Lipstick Under My Burkha; Best Feature Film (Special Jury Mention), The Valley; Best Documentary, Elephants in the Coffee; Best Director, Ananth Mahadevan for Dr. Rukhmabai; Best Actress, Pragati Kolage for Palyawadasi; Best Actor, Adil Hussain for Hotel Salvation; Best Story, Lala Begum; Best Short Film, 100 Steps; Best Short Film (Special Jury Mention), Her First Time.

Additionally, Special Awards were felicitated to Zeenat Aman, Life Time Achievement Award; Kavi Raz, Outstanding Achievement in International Cinema; and, Azaan Khan, Rising Star Director. Recipients of The Best Feature Film and The Best Short Film in Audience Poll were Dr. Rakhmbai and Stalking Shadows respectively.