Malayalam-language film â€˜Saudi Vellakkaâ€™ won the Best Film award at the 2023 edition of the New York Indian Film Festival (NYIFF) featuring cinema from the global Indian community.
Written and directed by Tharun Moorthy, the film tells the story of a 23-three-year-old young man whose dream of a Gulf visa is about to come true when a court summons for a long-pending case throws a wrench in his plans.
Director Avinash Arun of â€˜Pataal Lokâ€™ fame won top honors for his film â€˜Three of Usâ€™ capturing the Best Director as also Best Actor and Best Actress awards for the leads, Jaideep Ahlawat and Shefali Shah respectively at North Americaâ€™s oldest and most prestigious festival.
â€œOn behalf of the entire board, I applaud all the winners and nominees,â€ said Dr. Nirmal Mattoo, Indo-American Arts Council (IAAC) Chairman, announcing the 2023 winners at a star-studded event at the SVA theatre in New York City on May 14.
â€œWe are proud to continue our tradition of supporting and recognizing this stellar talent and bringing these acclaimed works to a new audience. This year, our aim was to reinforce the impact of Indian cinema on the global platform by bringing authentic storytelling reflecting the Indian experience,â€ he said.
Aseem Chhabra, Festival Director of NYIFF 2023, said, â€œI am delighted to announce that this yearâ€™s event has been very successful. A number of our screenings were completely sold out in our biggest theaters, offering audiences a memorable experience.”
â€œNot only did they get the opportunity to mingle with renowned celebrities such as Manoj and Sharmila, but they also got engaged with numerous talented young filmmakers, he said. â€œIt is with immense joy that we acknowledge an important milestone when a Malayalam film received the prestigious Best Film award at NYIFF. The selections made by our esteemed jury truly reflect the vast breadth and diversity of Indian cinema.â€
Suman Gollamudi, IAAC Executive Director, said, â€œOur closing event was truly a testament to the New York community gathering together to celebrate Indian cinema.â€
â€œIt is heartening to see all the positive messages streaming in and witness the incredible support we received from audiences and industry professionals alike,â€ he said. â€œIt was personally a poignant and special moment to show a story centered around the relationship between a mother and her daughter on Motherâ€™s Day.â€