DCSAFF 2019: Shabana Azmi gets lifetime achievement award

Shabana Azmi at DCSAFF
Shabana Azmi speaking after screening “Kaifinama” on the opening night of DCSAFF on September 20. At the center is director Sumantra Ghosal.

The Last Color, directed by celebrity chef Vikas Khanna, named “Best Feature Film” at DCSAFF.

Bollywood actress and director Shabana Azmi was felicitated with Life Time Achievement Award for her contributions to the Indian cinema at the eighth DC South Asia Film Festival (DCSAFF), a three-day event that concluded on September 22.

Azmi headlined the opening night of the festival, where she screened Kaifinama, a documentary on the life and work of her legendary father Kaifi Azmi.

The Last Color, maiden directorial venture of celebrity chef and author Vikas Khanna, was named “Best Feature Film.”

The film, starring Neena Gupta, depicts the daily struggles for survival on the streets of Banaras. Gupta won the “Best Actor Female” award.

Brahmanand Singh won the “Best Director” award for  Jhalki.

Indian American Danish Renzu’s The Illegal was named “Best Feature Film, Jury Mention.”

Here are the other award winners:

Best Feature Film, Audience Choice: The Illegal

Best Short Film: Dream One

Best Short, Jury Mention: The Internship

Best Short, Audience Choice: Forbidden Tikka Masala

Best Story/Script: Nirmal Anand ki Puppy

Best Actor Male: Ahmed Ali (Laal Kabootar)

Best Documentary, Audience Poll: Kaifinama

Prominent Indian American philanthropist Frank Islam delivered the keynote address at the award ceremony.

“In this audience, there are Indian Americans, Pakistani Americans, Bangladeshi Americans and other South Asian Americans — individuals of various religions and castes,” he said. “We are the proof that art and culture can transcend boundaries. They are proof that art can be a major force for unification.”

Islam praised the DCSAFF team for putting together another great edition of the festival. “This festival showcased the best of independent cinema from the subcontinent,” he said. “Our special thanks to all the people who have been long time supporters of DCSAFF. I applaud all of the people who participated in this festival and I thank them for their passion and commitment to this tremendous festival. This festival is instrumental in highlighting social causes and public awareness on arts and culture.”

DCSAFF 2019, held at the Montgomery College Rockville Campus’ Robert E. Parilla Performing Arts Center, attracted a number of leading South Asian actors, filmmakers, technicians and writers. Besides features, the festival screened 18 short films and 3 documentaries.

The three-day festival showcased films from South Asian countries or by South Asians from around the world. “DCSAFF provides an open platform to bring about important social issues for conversation without any fear of repercussion or discrimination,” said Manoj Singh, Executive Director of the festival. We have screened movies about women’s issues, LGBTQ acceptance, corruption, and religious extremity, atrocity of caste system [and] human trafficking.”


Shabana Azmi to headline the DC South Asian Film Festival 2019 opening night with ‘Kaifinama’ (September 18, 2019)

DC South Asian Film Festival 2019 from September 20 to 22  (September 12, 2019)

Indian American Namrata Singh Gujral wins ‘Best Director’ award at DCSAFF (September 13, 2018)

DCSAFF 2017: Zeenat Aman gets lifetime achievement award, ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’ gets best film award (September 14, 2017)

Eclectic lineup of independent films at 6th DCSAFF (September 11, 2017)

Highlights of DCSAFF 2016 (September 19, 2016 )

Variety of films from South Asia to feature at DCSAFF (April 27, 2013)

‘Half Widow’: A very touching and superbly acted film (October 13, 2018)

‘Lashtam Pashtam’: Exploring an India-Pakistan friendship (September 18, 2018)

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan conferred with inaugural Meryl Streep Award of Excellence (September 10, 2018 )

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan receives inaugural Meryl Streep award (September 9, 2018)

7th DC South Asian Film Festival showcasing independent cinema opens (September 8, 2018)

7th annual DC South Asian Film Festival to be held September 7-9 (September 3, 2018 )
Aishwarya Rai to attend WIFT India award night in Washington on September 8 (August 25, 2018)

The Unknowable Fear: A Review of Short Film ‘Stalking Shadows’ (October 11, 2017)

Zeenat Aman lends star power to 6th DC South Asian Film Festival (September 9, 2017)

6th DC South Asian Film Festival to kick off September 8 (August 26, 2017)

Independent film ‘Yadvi’ takes a royal look at women’s empowerment (June 15, 2017)

Film Review: ‘Yadvi – The Dignified Princess’ is a visual and emotional treat for audiences (June 13, 2017)

‘For Here or to Go?’ is about immigration, assimilation and ‘what it takes to make a home away from home’ (April 2, 2017)

Director Deepa Mehta, Actress Seema Biswas lead panel on women in Indian cinema (September 20, 2016)

‘Sold’, an expose of child trafficking, wins Best feature Film Award at fifth annual DC South Asian Film Festival (September 13, 2016)

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