The festival concludes with screening of ‘Omerta.’
By Rahul Raghavan
Marathi film Nude was chosen as the best film in the just concluded New York Indian Film Festival (NYIFF), the longest-running South Asian film festival in North America.
The film, directed and produced by Ravi Jadhav, tells the story of a woman that works as a nude model for artists. Kalyanee Mulay, who played the role of Yamuna in the film, bagged the best actress award.
Nude was screened on the opening night.
The festival concluded on Saturday with the screening of Omerta, directed by veteran director Hansal Mehta. It was the New York premiere of the biopic on Islamic fundamentalist Omar Saeed Sheikh.
The screening of the closing movie was followed by a Q&A between festival director Aseem Chhabra, director Hansal Mehta and actors Rupinder Nagra and Timothy Ryan Hickernell.
In all, 78 films from 11 different languages were screened, including movies in English, Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu, Kannada, Tulu, Konkini, Bengali and Assamese languages.
The festival had four world premieres, two international premieres, six North American premiers, one US premiere and 11 New York premieres from four South Asian countries —India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka — the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States.
Awards were also presented to the winners of this year’s film festival. Here is the list of of winners:
Best Film: Nude
Best Director: Nishil Sheth (Bhasmasur)
Best Screenplay: Chumbak (writers Sandeep Modi & Saurabh Bhave)
Best Actor: Manoj Bajpayee (In The Shadows)
Best Actress: Kalyanee Mulay (Nude)
Best Child Actor: Ali Haji (Noblemen)
Best Short: Maacher Jhol (The Fish Curry) directed by Abhishek Verma
Best Documentary: Abu directed by Arshad Khan
One of the highlights of the festival was the Konkani film Juze, directed by Miransha Naik.
The festival also paid tribute to two giants of Bollywood, who passed away in the past year.
Two films of the late Shashi Kapoor, Shakespeare Wallah, and Heat and Dust — both directed by this year’s Academy Award-winning director James Ivory — were screened.
The Bollywood movie English Vinglish starring India’s maiden woman superstar Sridevi, who passed away in Dubai earlier this year, was also screened.