Rima Das’ Assamese drama “Village Rockstars, which was adjudged Best Feature Film at the 65th National Film Awards in India, was also feted with the Grand Jury Prize for Best Feature at the 2018 Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) here.
The Grand Jury Prize for the Best Short went to “The Caregiver”, directed by Ruthy Pribar.
The Audience Choice Awards went to Mahesh Narayanan’s Malayalam film “Take Off”, in the Best Feature (Narrative) category, to “Lovesick”, directed by Priya Giri Desai and Ann S. Kim, for Best Documentary, and to Nagraj Manjule’s “An Essay of the Rain” for Best Short.
The 16th edition of IFFLA concluded on April 15 with a red carpet and gala that featured the Los Angeles premiere and official Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) screening of “Village Rockstars”, read a statement.
While presenting the award, the narrative jury stated: “This film explores gender expectations in a gentle manner. It blends beautiful cinematography with naturalistic performances in a fun and uplifting coming-of-age story. Working as a one-woman army, this director created an unforgettable portrait of childhood.”
A special jury mention was made for Sushama Deshpande’s performance in “Ajji”.
“Taking on difficult characters is always a challenge for an actor. It takes courage to humanise and portray a role that breaks the stereotypes. This actress demonstrated undeniable talent and commitment to deliver an authentic and grounded performance,” the jury stated.
As for Ruthy Pribar’s short film “The Caregiver”, the jury found it endearing for “its elegant representation of the nuances between compassion and survival, and for its understated yet decisive storytelling”.
The narrative jury comprised film critic Carlos Aguilar, director Haifaa Al-mansour and actor Sujata Day, while the shorts jury included producer Giulia Caruso, director Aneesh Chaganty and screenwriter Guinevere Turner.