New Delhi :The Dutch documentary film “Turn Your Body to the Sun” that tells the incredible story of a Soviet Prisoner of War, has won the prestigious Golden Conch award for the Best Documentary Film at MIFF 2022.
The top award of the Mumbai International Film Festival for Documentary, Short Fiction and Animation Films was presented by the Governor of Maharashtra Shri Bhagat Singh Koshiyari at the valedictory ceremony held at the Nehru Centre, Mumbai this evening in the presence of Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting Shri L Murugan and other dignitaries. The Award carries a Golden Conch, a Certificate and cash prize of Rs 1 million (Rs 10 lakhs).
Directed by Aliona Van der Horst, ‘Turn Your Body to the Sun’ brings to light the incredible life story of a Soviet soldier of Tatar descent, who was captured by the Nazis during World War II. Through his diaries as well as various personal and public archives and registries, his daughter Sana attempts to trace the path of her father to understand what made him the man she knew as a child.
The International Competition jury observed that the filmmaker has recreated the personal stories of World War II in such a fashion that it provokes the thought of the viewers. The jury noted that the innovative use of archival material is very sensitive and that the cinematic treatment is par excellence.
18 documentary films from Australia, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Panama, South Korea and UK, besides India were in the International Competition section of MIFF 2022
Best Short-fiction : ‘Saakshatkaaram’ (Malayalam) & ‘Brother Toll’
In the Short Fiction category, Malayalam film ‘Saakshatkaaram’ shares the Silver Conch award with Gudmund Helsmsal’s ‘Brother Toll’ a film from Faroe Islands of Denmark.
Saakshatkaaram (Malayalam) by Sudesh Balan, takes film lovers into the inner struggles and journey of a man mourning his beloved wife’s death and invites them to partake and inspired by his search for redemption. The film receives the Best Short –fiction film award for the very moving and emotive story which cements humanity by crossing religious boundaries. The filmmaker Sudesh Balan is a Communication Design faculty member at the IDC School of Design in IIT Bombay, of which he is also an alumnus.
Faroese language film ‘Brother Toll’ portrays the struggle of two brothers to save their fragile relationship after the sudden loss of their older brother. The awards carry a Silver Conch, a certificate and cash prize of Rs. 2.5 lakhs, to be shared equally between the director and the producer.
Best Animation Film: ‘Prince in a Pastry Shop’ (Poland)
‘Prince in a Pastry Shop’ directed by Polish filmmaker Katarzyna Agopsowicz, won the Silver Conch for Best Animation Film in International Competition category. ‘Prince in a Pastry Shop’ is a seemingly humorous story about happiness. It is a philosophical parable about a couple eating cakes in a café touching upon fundamental issues that are close to everyone – the elusiveness of happiness. The award carries a Silver Conch, a certificate and cash prize of Rs. 5 lakhs, to be shared equally between the director and the producer.
‘Closed to the Light’ directed and produced by Italian film maker Nicola Piovesan won the ‘Pramod Pati – Most Innovative / Experimental Film’ in this edition. Nicola Piovesan will get Rs.1,00,000 cash prize along with a trophy and certificate.
‘Ghar Ka Pata’ by Madhulika Jalali and the Films Division production ‘Who Says The Lepchas Are Vanishing? ’ by Abhuydaya Khaitan got the special mention by International Jury.
The International Jury of MIFF 2022 chaired by French documentary film maker of Iranian origin Mina Rad comprised of Israeli filmmaker Dan Wolman, well known wildlife filmmaker Subbiah Nallamuthu, French filmmaker Jean Pierre Saire, National Film Award winning journalist and author Anant Vijay.
Part II : National Competition Awards
‘Admitted’ directed by Ojaswwee Sharma won the Silver Conch award for Best Documentary Film (above 60 minutes) in National Competition section. ‘Admitted’ is a biographical docudrama on the controversial life of Dhananjay Chauhan-the first transgender student of Punjab university. The jury made a special note of the film’s forceful and brave lead character.
‘Screaming Butterflies’ directed by Assamese Director Aimee Barua and produced by Mala Barua won the Silver Conch award for Best Documentary Film (below 60 minutes) in National Competition section. Jury cites that the award is given to ‘Screaming Butterflies’ for its unflinching narration of the stories by the victims of cross-religious marriages who have bravely come forward to document their brutal victimization.
‘Geru Patra’ directed by Shristipal Singh won the Silver Conch for ‘Best Short Fiction Film’ (upto 45 minutes) in National Competition section. The film follows the life of a street typist who gets caught in a political cob-web when a letter that he typed for a mysterious woman ends up in a local newspaper.
‘Kandittundu (Seen It)’ directed by Adithi Krishnadas has been awarded the Silver Conch for Best Animation Film in National Competition section for its subtly hilarious take on the fantasy folklore of Kerala.
Dadasaheb Phalke Chitranagari Award for Best Debut Director ‘
Dadasaheb Phalke Chitranagari Award for Best Debut Director at MIFF 2022 has been awarded to Bimal Poddar for his film ‘Radha’. A story set in Kolkata, ‘Radha’ revolves around an elderly lady and her relationship with a young boy who she has nurtured with all her heart. The award carries a trophy, certificate and prize money of Rs. 1 lakh.
IDPA Award for Best Student Film
IDPA Award for Best Student Film at MIFF2022 has been awarded to ‘Megha’, the Bengali film directed by Rishi Bhaumik. It tells the tale of Megha a little girl who carries a horrifying secret that slowly distorts her sense of reality. The award is for its rare use of animation to tackle a serious theme which is rarely spoken of even within family circles and for its unerring use of colour which enhances and underscores the poignancy of its theme, cited the jury. The award carries a trophy, certificate and prize money of Rs. 1 lakh.
National Jury at MIFF 2022 chaired by National award-winning film maker Sanjit Narwekar also comprised eminent Bangladesh filmmaker/producer Tareq Ahmed, theatre artiste Jayasree Bhattacharya, Srilankan journalist and film critic Ashley Ratnavibhushana of Sri Lanka and experienced film editor Subhash Sehgal.