Entertainment News | Aparna Sen and Nandita Das win Icon Awards at London Film Fest

London, Jul 13 (PTI) Filmmakers Aparna Sen and Nandita Das have received the Icon Award at this year’s London Indian Film Festival for their contribution to Indian and world cinema.

Taking place over two weeks and in four cities of London, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds, the London Indian Film Festival (LIFF) concluded last week with a series of screenings, conversation sessions, discussions on film and an awards ceremony.

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“It was a rare honor and pleasure to receive the LIFF Icon Award,” said Sen, whose latest film “The Rapist” was among the highlights of this year’s European premiere at the festival.

“Making films on my own terms without commercial compromise for 40 years has often seemed like a thankless job, but now, after the Icon Award, I feel vindicated. Thank you LIFF for continuing to believe in meaningful cinema,” she said.

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Das, who joined Sen and her actress daughter Konkona Sen Sharma for a special cinematic conversation as part of the LIFF 2022 lineup, said she was grateful for her Icon Award.

“I have seen LIFF grow more and more and I am touched by their appreciation of my choices and my work. It means a lot to me,” she said.

Director Pan Nalin’s poignant ode to cinema ‘Chhello Show’ (Last Film Show) won this year’s audience-voted Best Picture award.

“It’s truly inspiring, uplifting and instructive. As a filmmaker, the only dream I cherish is to be loved by audiences,” said Nalin, behind other award-winning films such as ‘Samsara’ and ‘Valley of the Flowers”.

In the Satayjit Ray Annual Shorts category, “Jaagran,” co-directed by Ritviq Joshi and Hardik Sadhwani, won the LIFF Jury Prize.

The judges awarded the film for its “engaging, relatable, and witty exploration of a serious issue everyone can relate to” and found it “socially and politically astute, brilliantly acted, and hilarious.”

“Jaagran’ was a 20-page overambitious dream that we saw together. Miraculously, we assembled an experienced team who believed in the script and helped us learn and turn our dream into reality,” Joshi and Sadhwani said.

“Today, after being honored to receive an award bearing Satyajit Ray’s name, we are back to square one. We are back in a dream. Only this time it’s not limited to the two of us. This one belongs to 20 other dreamers,” they said.

The awards also included an Outstanding Achievement Award for Taapsee Pannu for his impactful roles, including in Anurag Kashyap’s new film “Dobaaraa” which opened the festival.

After a shift to virtual and hybrid models during the COVID pandemic shutdowns, the annual festival celebrating South Asian cinema has returned to cinemas this year.

“We have granted funding to the National Lottery through the BFI [British Film Institute] Audience Fund to enable the festival to have a wider footprint across the UK and raise the profile of South Asian cinema, and it’s great to see it achieve that and more,” said Ben Luxford, BFI UK Public Manager.

LIFF director Cary Sawhney said the festival’s drive to return fully to UK cinemas had attracted record audiences.

“Some cinemas, such as the BFI Southbank, described the festival as their bestseller over the period. There is clearly an appetite to return to the big screen, especially with a festival cocktail of high-quality premieres with frequent guest appearances,” he said.

“The creative and arts sectors and cities, in particular London, have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic and government and other restrictions on the mobility of community gatherings. The importance of sharing experiences, human contact and the need to witness diversity have all been highlighted lately,” added Tony Matharu, Festival Patron and Chairman of Title Sponsor Blue Orchid Hotels. .

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