“Moner Manush” wins top award at Int’l Film Fest of India | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 04, 2010 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, December 04, 2010

“Moner Manush” wins top award at Int’l Film Fest of India

Prosenjit Chatterjee (right) as Lalon in "Moner Manush".

“Moner Manush”, the India-Bangladesh joint production directed by India's Goutam Ghosh, won the top award -- the Golden Peacock -- at the 41st International Film Festival of India.
It is after 10 years that IFFI's top award has gone to an Indian director. The last film to win the prize was “Karunam” by Kerala's director Jairaj in the year 2000.
“Moner Manush”, the story about the mystic bard Lalon Fakir, was chosen for the top award for its “stunning cinematic beauty and a compassionate portrayal of love in a world of hate,” said a five-member jury which had judged 18 films from 15 countries in the international competition of the Festival. The jury was headed by Polish director Jerzy Anteczak.
Reacting to the honour, Ghosh, who was present at the award presentation function in Panaji, Goa, the venue of the festival, along with the film's Bangladeshi producers Habibur Rahman Khan (Ashirbad Chalachchitra) and Faridur Reza Sagor (Impress Telefilm Ltd) and their Indian counterpart Gautam Kundu, said that the Golden Peacock was an “endorsement of tolerance in an otherwise intolerant society.”
Ghosh, Khan, Sagor and Kundu share the Rs 40 lakh prize money that comes with the top award.
Ghosh received the award in the presence of Indian Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Chandra Mohan Jatua; Goa Chief Minister Digamber Kamat and national award winning actor Saif Ali Khan who was the chief guest at the closing function of the festival.
Bengali superstar Prosenjit Chatterjee stars as Lalon and Raisul Islam Asad, Champa, Syed Hasan Imam and Sudeshna Swayamprabha are among the Bangladeshi members of the film's cast.
The film was released simultaneously in Bangladesh and India yesterday.
It may be recalled that Habibur Rahman Khan is also the co-producer of another Indo-Bangladesh joint production “Padma Nadir Majhi”, also directed by Gautam Ghosh in 1993, featuring leading actors from India and Bangldadesh including Rupa Ganguly, Asad, Champa, Robi Ghosh and Utpal Dutt.
Another Indian director Kaushik Ganguly's story on homosexuality “Just Another Love Story”, which bagged the special jury award -- a Silver Peacock, a citation and cash prize of Rs 15 lakh -- for its “fearless portrayal of a sensitive subject in a country where homosexuality is still kept inside closed doors.”
The film shares the special jury award with New Zealand film “Boy” by Taika Waititi, a coming-of-age story of an 11-year-old farm boy.
The Silver Peacock award for best director has gone to Sussane Bier of Denmark for her film “In A Better World” which tells the story of two families living in a provincial town and a friendship that transforms into a dangerous alliance.
The filmmaker's award was accepted by her son who spoke of his mother's fondness for India, where she had shot “After The Wedding” which received an Academy Award nomination.
The best actor award was bagged by Guven Kirac of Turkey for his “closely observed and finely detailed portrayal,” of a man who copes with tragedy by creating an alternate fantasy world in the Turkish film “The Crossing”, while the best actress trophy, introduced this year, went to Magdalena Boczarska for her portrayal of a femme fatale who falls in love with the man she sets out to trap, in the Polish film “Little Rose” set in the Communist regime.
The 11-day Festival, which began with the screening of British director Andy Emmmony's “West is West”, ended with the showing of French movie “The Princess of Montpensier” directed by Bertrand Tavenier. A total of 300 films from 61 countries were shown in different sections of the Festival.

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