Marathi movie â€œVihirâ€ (The Well) has been named the best feature film at the 10th annual MIAAC festival here with Seema Biswas adjudged the best actress and A R Rahman felicitated for popularizing Indian music.
While Biswas was selected for her role of a cook in â€œCooking with Stellaâ€, Ajay Naidu was awarded the best actor trophy for his lead act in â€œAshesâ€, also directed by him.
Sangeeta Padmanabhanâ€™s Malayalam film â€œCharulata…The Sequelâ€ was named the best in the short film category and â€œGanesh Boy Wonderâ€ by Srinivas Krishna was awarded the best documentary film prize.
Sanjoy Nagâ€™s festival centerpiece â€œMemories in Marchâ€, starring Deepti Naval, Rituparno Ghosh and Raima Sen, won for its screenplay while Krishna D K and Raj Nidimoru were awarded for their direction in â€œShorâ€.
Rahman was awarded for his â€œsignificant contribution to the globalization of Indian musicâ€ and in his absence the trophy was accepted by Mani Ratnam.
Directed by Umesh Kulkarni, â€œVihirâ€ is a story of two adolescent boys Sameer and Nachiket (cousins who are best friends) standing on the crossroads of life. They must choose between a petty, worldly, small existence and taking to the sky in a life of free existence.
In their rather unusual game of hide and seek, one cousin hides among death, whilst the other searches in the living world around him. Samirâ€™s search leads him towards experiencing oneness when he and Nachiket are reunited.
â€œVihirâ€ is among the three Indian films in the competition section of this yearâ€™s IFFI in Goa. One of the longest-running Indian film festivals in the US, this yearâ€™s edition also paid a tribute to Smita Patil.
The opening film of the festival was â€œShorâ€ (Noise), a gritty, funny composite portrait of Mumbai inspired from various daily newspaper stories. The film, with Tusshar Kapoor and Sendhil Ramamurthy in the lead, revolves around three stories set during the Ganesha festival.