Last night at the closing night of the The Bagri Foundation London Indian Film Festival the final tally of awards throughout the festival came to four gongs. Recipients included acclaimed Indian actress Sharmila Tagore (Apur Sansar -1959), Days and Nights in The Forest – 1970), director Shekhar Kapur (Mr India – 1987), Bandit Queen – 1994) & the Oscar winning Elizabeth films, and also winners of this year’s Satyajit Ray short film award and LIFF Audience Award for best film.
• ICON Awards© for outstanding contribution to world cinema from Sun Mark Ltd went to Shekhar Kapur, and Sharmila Tagore.
• Satyajit Ray Short Film Award in association with the Bagri Foundation went to MOCHI (The Cobbler), by Saqib Pandor
• LIFF Audience Award went to Song of Lahore, by Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and Andy Schocken
The awards included the festival’s rarely presented ICON Award© for outstanding contribution to Indian and world cinema, which was won by Bengali actress Sharmila Tagore, who started her career with acclaimed director Satyajit Ray, and went on to be one of the greatest actresses of Indian cinema, playing in award-winning films in both Hindi and Bengali cinema. Lahore born Director Shekhar Kapur is one of the very few Indian directors to have a truly global career from Bollywood to Hollywood, and UK cinema.
Sponsoring the ICON Award© for the 2nd year running, Sun Mark Ltd C.E.O Harmeet ‘Sunny’ Ahuja stated: “These individuals are not just icons but visionaries, that have forged a path for the new generation of filmmakers, and so for us, the relationship has great synergy. It was an honour to present the Sun Mark and Pure Heaven LIFF Icon Awards to these two giants of cinema.”
Sharmila Tagore commented on winning the festival’s award: “The festival has had a special focus on women and cinema this year with seven films by women directors. I am happy to receive the ICON award and have enjoyed doing the masterclass at this rapidly growing event.”
The Bagri Foundation London Indian Film Festival’s Audience Award went to Song of Lahore, by Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and Andy Schocken. Said directors Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and Andy Schocken: “We are delighted that Song of Lahore has won the audience award. The film is a labor of love, and an ode to the beautiful city of Lahore and the Sachal orchestra.”
The short film jury awarded the Satyajit Ray Short film award, carrying a cash prize of £1000, in association with the Bagri Foundation, goes to to Saqib Pandor for MOCHI (The Cobbler). Chair of the jury, Satwant Gill, said: “This multilayered film, evocative and striking, manages to inject real suspense in a short timespan. The drama stays with you long after it has finished, and heralds in a talented new filmmaker. A special commendation went to Debanjan Nandy for his emotional, warm and haunting animation CHHAYA.”
The director of The Bagri Foundation London Indian Film Festival, Cary Sawhney stated: “We are really pleased that this year, the festival has expanded in stature in both London and Birmingham and included films in 15 languages and 7 women filmmakers. Our awards aim to highlight just some of the many achievements of filmmakers and actors from South Asia, who may otherwise go unsung by the broader world film community.”