August 20, (Agencies) | Publish Date: 8/20/2021 1:15:17 PM IST
Acclaimed actors Vidya Balan and Manoj Bajpayee as well as South star Suriya bagged top awards at the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne 2021 (IFFM).
Following the success of last year’s digital format, the 12th edition of the IFFM took place both physically and virtually amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The physical format of the movie gala commenced on August 12 and came to closure on Friday. The digital edition will run till August 30 across Australia. Suriya, won the best actor prize for his performance in the Tamil-language biographical drama “Soorarai Pottru”, based on the life of Captain GR Gopinath, a retired Army officer and founder of the low-cost airline Air Deccan. The movie also won the best feature film.
Balan was awarded best actress for her nuanced portrayal of an upright forest officer in widely acclaimed film “Sherni”.
The film, produced by T-Series and Abundantia Entertainment, released on Amazon Prime Video on June 18. Vikram Malhotra, founder and CEO, Abundantia Entertainment said the entire team is delighted to have received the award for “Sherni”. Manoj Bajpayee and Samantha Akkineni won the best actor and best actress award in a series for “The Family Man 2”, created and directed by filmmaker duo Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK.
Bajpayee, 52, said he was thankful to all the jury members for honouring his performance.
“I must mention cinema or series are both highly collaborative medium. And it would be highly embarrassing for me to take away the award to myself without mentioning everyone involved with it. “I am thankful to Amazon Prime Video, Raj and DK, but it’s the writers that make a lot of difference. Thank you to them for giving me the space to become this character,” the actor, who received the best actor award for “Gali Guleiyan” last year at the festival, said. Akkineni said she was grateful to Nidimoru and DK for giving her the opportunity to play a layered character in her digital debut outing.
“Thanks to Raj and DK to see past the cute girl image I have and to give me this role which is so different from what I have done so far. To give me this character that has so many layers and such diverse parts to it,” she said. Ace filmmaker Anurag Basu picked up the best director trophy for the feature film “Ludo”, a dark comedy anthology featuring Abhishek A Bachchan, Aditya Roy Kapur, Rajkummar Rao, Sanya Malhotra, Fatima Sana Shaikh among others. The best series award was given to “Mirzapur” season two.
IFFM also honoured seasoned actor Pankaj Tripathi with the prestigious diversity in cinema award, while actor Nimisha Sajayan received an honorary mention for her film “The Great Indian Kitchen”.
Tripathi, 44, said, he was grateful to all the writers and filmmakers for offering him great parts. He thanked filmmaker Anurag Kashyap, who gave him the award, for discovering his talent in 2012 “Gangs of Wasseypur”.
The equality in cinema (Short Film) award was given to “Sheer Qorma”, while “The Great Indian Kitchen” won the equality in cinema award in feature film category.
“Fire in the Mountains”, directed by Ajitpal Singh, won best indie film and disruptor award went to Sanal Kumar Sasidharan. The best documentary film was “Shut Up Sona”.