The annual Satyajit Ray Short Film Award worth GBP 1,000 went to the Indo-German co-production “The Peanut Seller”.
Leading Indian actor Irrfan Khan was announced as the winner of a special Icon Award at the closing ceremony of the London Indian Film Festival (LIFF).
Khan, who is undergoing medical treatment in London, accepted the award privately after two of his films were screened at the festival this year Mostafa Sarwar Farooki's Doob: No Bed of Roses and Anup Singh’s Song of Scorpions.
A second Icon Award, sponsored by Sun Mark, went to actor Manoj Bajpayee who attended this year’s festival with his films Gali Guliyan and Love Sonia.
“Getting this award at this prestigious film festival, it definitely is a matter of privilege for me; also in London, the city I love the most,” said Bajpayee.
“An actor is always in the making, it’s a process that one follows, and getting this honour at the festival is remarkable These, I feel, are films that often do complete justice to the medium of cinema, where creativity is at its peak,” he added. The Outstanding Achievement Award went to Richa Chadha, who starred in this year’s opening night world premiere of Tabrez Noorani’s crossover Love Sonia.
“When you say Indian films, people assume it’s just Bollywood and that’s untrue. We have independent films, that survive the onslaught of the nexus, and festivals like LIFF help us in making the right noise back home, so these films stand a chance against the mainstream expensive spectacle films,” Chadha said.
The film festival, backed by the UK-based Bagri Foundation, is now in its ninth year as Europe’s largest platform for independent cinema from the Indian subcontinent. British comedy Eaten By Lions won this year’s top prize, voted by the audience. Director Jason Wingard described the film as a “modern relevant comedy dealing with contemporary issues such as diversity and disability”.
The annual Satyajit Ray Short Film Award worth GBP 1,000 went to the Indo-German co-production “The Peanut Seller”. LIFF programme director Cary Rajinder Sawhney said, “We are delighted that in spite of a UK heatwave and the football World Cup, the festival attracted so many film fans this year, both Indian and non-Indian, to our wonderful film theatres. “It shows there is a real thirst for this kind of independent cinema showing more real-life images of the India.”
The festival closed in London at the BFI Southbank on Friday and concurrently in Birmingham with the Canadian comedy Venus. For the first time this year the festival extended its reach to Manchester, where it will close with the rustic tale “Village Rockstars” on Sunday.