Austrian film-maker Stefan Bohun’s documentary ‘Brother Jakob, Are You Sleeping?’ won the prestigious Golden Conch award for the best documentary in the International Competition category at the 15th Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF) for Documentary, Animation and Short Films, which ended today in Mumbai. Maharashtra Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao was the Chief Guest at the closing ceremony.
‘Brother Jakob, Are You Sleeping’, is a story of four brothers on a journey into the past. It is a shared path of memories which starts in the Tyrolean Mountains after the fifth brother’s death and ends in a hotel room in Porto. The Golden Conch award carries a cash prize of Rs 1 million (10 lakhs)
Certificate of Merit for the Second Best Documentary in the International Competition was announced to the Marathi / Hindi film Cinema Travellers, directed and produced by Shirley Abraham & Amit Madheshiya. The film also won Best Cinematography award in National / International Competition section.
Silver Conch for the Best Short Fiction Film in the International Competition was jointly awarded to film Aaba (The Grandfather, directed by Amar Kaushik and Korean film My Turn (Nae Chalye) directed by Nakyung Kim.
The Pramod Pati Special Jury Award in International Competition was awarded to the Bengali film I Am Bonnie, 2017 directed by Satarupa Santra, Farha Khatun and Saurabh Kanti Dutta and produced by Films Division.
In the National film competition category, Silver Conch for the Best Short Fiction under 45 minutes in was declared to the Bengali film Sakhisona, Directed by Prantik Basu and produced by FTII, Pune.
In Animation film category, Silver Conch for the Best Animation Film in the National Competition awarded to the film Tokri (The Basket), directed by Suresh Eriyat.
Silver Conch for the Best Documentary (under 60 minutes) in the National Competition of MIFF 2018 awarded to Manipuri documentary Ima Sabitri directed by Bobo Khuraijam whereas Silver Conch for the Best Documentary -(above 60 minutes) in the National Competition section has been awarded to the film Santhal Family to Mill Recall, Directed and produced by R V Ramani
The Jury recommended grant of Certificate of Merit to two films – Naachi Se Baanchi in Hindi Directed by Biju Toppo & Meghanath and produced by Films Division and English film I Am Jeeja directed by Swati Chakraborty.
In the technical awards category, Best Sound Design award went to Pinja Mustajoki for the Finnish film My Secret Forest .Award for Best Editing was given to Kislay for the bilingual film InstaStories.
Shreyas Dasharathe’s Gujarati film Bismaar Ghar (Withering House) bagged the award for Best Student Film in the National Competition. This award is given by IDPA in the honour of veteran documentary maker Vijaya Mulay .
Dadasaheb Phalke Chitranagari Award for Best Debut Film went to Hindi film Beloved (Jaan Jigar) directed by Ranjan Chandel.
This year’s V Shantaram Lifetime Achievement Award was conferred upon veteran film maker Shyam Benegal for his outstanding contribution if the field of feature and documentary films. The award carries a Trophy, a shawl, citation and cash prize of Rs 1 million.
All together cash awards of Rs 5.8 million (Rs 58 lakhs) are given away during MIFF 2018.
List of Awards (MIFF 2018)
- LIFETIME ACHIVEMENT AWARD
V Shantaram Lifetime Achievement Award: Shri ShyamBenegal
He is an eminent director and writer, known for Ankur: The Seedling (1974), Trikal (Past, Present, Future) (1985) and Bhumika (1977).
- TECHNICAL COMPETITION
Best Sound Design: MY SECRET FOREST (SalainenMetsani)
Synopsis : For Lauri, 20, an autist unable to speak, the only key to life in general is to write with the help of Pirjo, his personal interpreter – it is Lauri’s only way to express his deepest thoughts. In the midst of the challenges brought on by autism, love is his highest dream. Lauri feels he is like a bear that must be perpetually tamed, while trapped inside lives a feeling and thinking man. Although Lauri, a lover of philosophical deliberations, fears he will remain bound to the mere yearning of infinite love to the end of his days, he is able to reveal through his writings a beauty about life not perceived by everyone.
Directors Biography : Nina Brandt is one of the two owners of Double Back Documentaries Ltd. She has directed and produced, shot and edited short films and several made to order works for the company’s clients since its launch in 2008, including TV channels and broadcasting companies. Niina Brandt also produces photographs and films about the Finnish Lapland where the special nature of the region becomes part of the works of art. My Secret Forest is her first hour long documentary film as a director.
Best Editing: InstaStories
Synopsis: The film portrays one day in the life a male and a female as seen through the activities on their respective mobile phones. As the day progresses we see them chatting, working, eating and posting constant updates on social media. While they create and share beautiful images of themselves and the world surrounding them, the reality is much more mundane and ugly. The film attempts to explore the alienation and loneliness of today’s ‘connected’ world.
Director’s Biography: Kislay, a freelance filmmaker and a recent alumnus of Film and Television Institute of India, Pune. Before moving to films, he was extensively involved in theatre. He has made three shorts and is currently working on his first feature length film. He was one of the ten students selected for International Student Film Camp, in Serbia and the only Indian filmmaker who was asked to showcase his work in European League of International Arts (ELIA) in 2015.
Best Cinematography: THE CINEMA TRAVELLERS
Synopsis: The travelling cinemas of Maharashtra have brought the wonder of the movies to faraway villages annually. Seven decades on, as their lorries and cinema projectors crumble and film reels become scarce, The Cinema Travellers accompanies a shrewd exhibitor, a benevolent showman and a maverick projector mechanic who bear a beautiful burden – to keep the last travelling cinemas of the world running.
Directors Biography: Amit Madheshiya (b.1982) is an award winning, internationally acclaimed photographer and filmmaker based in Mumbai. He graduated with a BA (Hons) in English Literature from Hindu College, New Delhi (2004) and an MA in Mass Communication from AJK MCRC, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi (2006). He is a fellow of the Sundance Institute, MacArthur Foundation, Bertha Foundation, BBC, Goethe Institute, India Foundation for the Arts, Arts Council England, National Foundation of India and the University of Heidelberg. Shirley Abraham was born in Bhopal and studied in Delhi. She’s an alumnus of Lady Shri Ram College and Mass Communication Research Center, Jamia. She has been a fellow of Sundance Labs, Cluster of Excellence Heidelberg, BBC, TasveerGhar, India Foundation for the Arts and Goethe-Institute. Shirley’s work has been lauded in top publications like Variety, Screen Daily, Hollywood Reporter, Indie Wire and the Guardian.
- IDPA Awrd
Best Student Film: Withering House (Bismaar Ghar)
Synopsis: A house gives us a sense of belonging. It envelopes us and protects us. It is a symbol of the time, the culture, and the beings that it inhabits. A house has a unique identity, like a living, breathing being. Each one is different with its own perks and glitches. This film is an observational piece about Mahesh bhai, Tarunaben, Ganpat bhai and their house. Living in a hundred year old house for the past 20 years in the heart of Ahmedabad, they have decided to move on to a new apartment they got under the Prime Minister’s Housing Scheme. With changing times and circumstances, they are moving towards a strange kind of uniformity under the shadow of ‘urbanism’ and ‘development’? Are our traditional structures are failing to cater our needs anymore?
Director’s Biography: Shreyas Dasharathe Born in Pune, Shreyas Dasharathe is currently a student of film at National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad. He has worked as a short film club curator, a content writer, and a feature film assistant director before getting into NID. Bismaa rGhar is his first documentary short film as a director before which he has made a short fiction film and worked as a writer on some independent projects. Following this project, he has also directed on a short documentary as part of an international youth film project held in China in June 2017. He is interested in exploring cinema and its form in entirety by telling stories that are unusual but honest.
PhalkeChitranagariAward :Beloved (JaanJigar)
Synopsis :“JaanJigar” is a story of a boy and girl, living in north India, exploring the early nuances of love. They decide to meet up at a secluded place and there come personified cultural and social vigilante armed with the task of moral policing.
Director’s Biography: RanjanChandel assisted filmmaker Anurag Kashyap on his feature film Raman Raghav 2.0. He is a co writer for Anurag’s latest release “Mukkabaaz” and also been the writer of the short film Juice- directed by Neeraj Ghaywan, which was screened at MAMI Film Festival 2017. “Jaan Jigar” is his debut film as a director.
(E ) NATIPNAL COMPETITION
Best Animation Film |Silver Couch: THE BASKET (Tokri)
Synopsis: Two insignificant lives lost and found in time
Director’s Biography: Suresh Eriyat has been directing and creating beautiful animation since he graduated from NID, Ahmedabad, in 1997 and now has over 300 films in his portfolio such as Tokri (2016) and Fisherwoman and TukTuk (2015). He has won numerous awards, notably the Annecy Cristal Award at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival for his film Fateline, a poignant animation campaign speaking out against child labour in India, in 2015. Eriyat started his career at Western Outdoor Interactive before setting up his own company Famous House of Animation in 1998, and then Studio Eeksaurus which he formed with his wife, Nilima Eriyat, in 2009
Best Short Fiction | Short Fiction: Sakhisona India / 2016 / Bengali / 26 mins
Synopsis: Sakhisona elopes with her lover in search of a home away from home. They end up in an abandoned village by the woods. Life seems happy and nature around seems to be brimming with vitality. One day, when she goes to the woods to collect twigs, a tree reveals to her the mysteries of the forest. Illusions prevail in the form of spirits and shamans who have been transforming humans into animals for ages. Meanwhile, in an excavation site, stories that have been buried for too long spring back to life.
Director’s Biography: Prantik Basu studied film direction and screenplay writing at the Film & Television Institute of India, Pune, and holds a Bachelors Degree in English Literature from the University of Calcutta. Prantik has been making short films & documentaries since 2007. His previous works, Wind Castle (2014) and Makara (2013) have also participated in various film festivals including Oberhausen, Rome Film Festival, Experimental, IFFI& Kochi-Muziris Biennale. His student short 1,2 (2011) was awarded the Indian Jury Prize at the Mumbai International Film Festival in 2012. Oscillating between documentary & folklore, his ongoing works attempt to engage with the politics of gender and the relationship between nature and human.
Special Jury Mention | Certificate: Naachi Se Baanchi India / 2017 / Hindi / 70 mins
Synopsis: A biography film – In his lifetime itself Dr. Ram Dayal Munda has become a symbol of indigenous cultural reawakening. Born in an Adivasi family of Tamar in Jharkhand, he went for higher studies in the United States of America. Later, he taught at the University of Minnesota. He came back to India to teach at Tribal and Regional Language Department of Ranchi University and subsequently become the Vice Chancellor of the University. Ram Dayal Munda was the leading intellectual who has contributed to Jharkhand movement immensely. Dr. Munda has represented Adivasi voices in Rajya Sabha and United Nations. He has been awarded with Sahitya Academy Award and Padmashree in 2009.
Director’s Biography: BijuToppo is one of the first Adivasi film makers who have effectively used the camera to counter the misrepresentation of his community by the mainstream media. His films have received national and international recognition. Meghnath is an activist working in Jharkhand for last 30 years. He has been with the people’s struggle against destructive development. As a film maker he has tried to document the voice of people who remain unheard. At present teaches in the Masscom department of St. Xaviers College, Ranchi
Special Jury Mention | Certificate: i am jeejaIndia / 2016 / English / 28 mins
Synopsis: The film is a first person narrative of Jeeja Ghosh, a woman with cerebral palsy, who with indomitable spirit has defeated all the adversities to attain success and acclaim from the GOI and from abroad, and has proved herself a responsible leader of the society. She is the warm person who cannot be missed anywhere though she expresses herself in slurred speech and jerky movements. She is also the fiercest fighter who drags a private airway to the Supreme Court for deplaning her and wins her case. The film breaks many myths regarding people with disabilities. Jeeja says that it is all about accepting and respecting differences in people and giving
Director’s Biography: Swati is a scriptwriter and independent filmmaker. She has a Masters in Economics from Jadavpur University, Kolkata but was later drawn to the field of disability and did her post graduate training in assistive technology and Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) from Oxford University. She is deeply involved with training in the field of disability and assistive technology for last 25 years. Swati has been working in the audio-visual media for last 10 years.
Silver Couch | Best Documentary (Under 60 Min): Ima Sabitri India / 2016 / Manipuri / 57 mins
Synopsis: The film is an intimate portrayal of “Sabitri” a household name among theatre enthusiasts. She is addressed as ‘Ima’, mother. The figure of the mother, who is a teacher, a partner, a daughter, a woman, weaves a range of events, on and off the stage. Shot over a period of three years, the film explores inspirations behind a vibrant and original theatre company. Moments of celebrations, crisis, and the desire for continuity are portrayed as they unfold.
Director’s Biography: Bobo Khuraijam is a close observer of human stories. He loves poetry and creative non-fiction. An independent filmmaker with more than seven years’ experience in film and television, he has worked with veteran filmmaker, A. Syam Sharma as assistant director, script writer and actor. He juggles his vocation between filmmaking and journalism. Writes extensibly for the Imphal Free Press, an Imphal (India) based newspaper, he is with the editorial desk of the paper.
Best Documentary (Above 60 Min): Santhal Family to Mill Re-call India / 2017 / English-Hindi-Bengali-Oriya-Punjabi / 112 mins
Synopsis: RamkinkarBaij (1904-84), experimented with a wide range of formal approaches to evolve his practice in sculpture and painting. He was a teacher at Kala Bhavana in Santiniketan. He was also a theatre practitioner who directed plays and created sets. Vivan Sundaram is a contemporary artist. He foregrounds the materiality of found objects and builds up large installations. In collaboration with theatre practitioners, writers and artists, he conceives the project 409 RAMKINKARS, a re-take on the life and works of Ramkinkar Baij. Theatre directors Anuradha Kapur, Santanu Bose, Aditee Biswas and Deepan Sivaraman, with 30 professional actors, associates and technicians, conceptualize a promenade theatre. The script is by Belinder Dhanoa. SANTHAL FAMILY TO MILL RE-CALL is a film based on the process, performance and exhibition of 409 RAMKINKARS.
Director’s Biography: RV Ramani, is a Physics graduate from Mumbai University. He initially worked as a photojournalist in Mumbai and later graduated from FTII in 1985, with specialization in Cinematography. Since 1990, he started directing, producing his own films. With many independent films to his credit, he has established a unique impressionistic personal style of filmmaking which has found recognition in India and abroad. Though he has been largely working in the non-fiction documentary format, he considers his films offer an experience of fiction. Ramani regularly conducts film-making workshops at various Institutions and is a Visiting Professor at Ambedkar University Delhi.
- INTERNATIONAL COMETITION
Pramod Pati Special Award: I AM BONNIE India / 2017 / Bengali / 45 mins
Synopsis: This is the story of Bonnie, a born inter-sex, an ace footballer, who was raised by poor, illeterate and confused parents as a girl child. This is his struggle to live with dignity in this sarcastic, hypocritical and exploitative society
Directors Biography: Living in Kolkata, Satarupa Santra is a teacher of journalism and mass communication in Birati College under Calcutta University. She worked as an Assistant Director in a number of Bengali Tele-films. This is Satarupa’s first feature length documentary as the Director along with co-directors Sourabh Kanti Dutta and Farha Khatun
Best Short Fiction Film: GRANDFATHER (Aaba) India / 2017 / Apatani / 22 mins
Synopsis: Aaba (Grandfather) is set in a remote village of Arunachal Pradesh in North East India. An orphan girl staying with her grandparents comes across the news of her grandfather being in the advanced stages of lung cancer and would probably survive just a few weeks. With not much to do the grandfather spends rest of his days revisiting his personal possessions and digging his own grave. But then life has its own surprises
Directors Biography: Amar Kaushik, Born in Uttar Pradesh, India in 1983, he grew up with his grandparents in Kanpur and in the north-eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh where his father worked in the state forestry department. He graduated with a degree in science with the intention of joining the Indian Air Force but then realised that was not his true calling. He got a job in tourism before moving to Mumbai and working his way up through the ranks in the Indian film industry. Aaba (Grandfather) is his debut film as a director.
Best Short Fiction Film: MY TURN (NaeChalye) South Korea / 2017 / Korean / 15 mins
Synopsis: Nurse Hyun-jung becomes pregnant. Tension and backlash surface among the hospital nurses with the news of Hyun-jung’s pregnancy, which takes place out of the previously set order of pregnancies among the nurses. How did things end up being this way, with Hyun-jung not being congratulated for her pregnancy?
Directors Biography : The director Nakyung Kim, studied film direction in Dongguk University and K-Arts (Korea National University of Arts) in Seoul, South Korea. She is a prolific director who has made number of acclaimed short films such as I do need the certificate of sanitation right now! and Greed; Ghost Light.
Second Best Documentary: THE CINEMA TRAVELLERS India / 2016 / Hindi, Marathi / 96 mins
Synopsis: The travelling cinemas of Maharashtra have brought the wonder of the movies to faraway villages annually. Seven decades on, as their lorries and cinema projectors crumble and film reels become scarce, The Cinema Travellers accompanies a shrewd exhibitor, a benevolent showman and a maverick projector mechanic who bear a beautiful burden – to keep the last traveling cinemas of the world running.Directors Biography: Amit Madheshiya (b.1982) is an award winning, internationally acclaimed photographer and filmmaker based in Mumbai. He graduated with a BA (Hons) in English Literature from Hindu College, New Delhi (2004) and an MA in Mass Communication from AJK MCRC, JamiaMilliaIslamia, New Delhi (2006). He is a fellow of the Sundance Institute, MacArthur Foundation, Bertha Foundation, BBC, Goethe Institute, India Foundation for the Arts, Arts Council England, National Foundation of India and the University of Heidelberg. Shirley Abraham was born in Bhopal and studied in Delhi. She’s an alumnus of Lady Shri Ram College and Mass Communication Research Center, Jamia. She has been a fellow of Sundance Labs, Cluster of Excellence Heidelberg, BBC, Tasveer Ghar, India Foundation for the Arts and Goethe-Institute. Shirley’s work has been lauded in top publications like Variety, Screen Daily, Hollywood Reporter, Indie Wire and the Guardian.
- GOLDEN COUNCH
BROTHER JAKOB, ARE YOU SLEEPING? Austria / 2017 / German, English, Portuguese / 86 mins
Synopsis :Four brothers on a journey into the past. It is a shared path of memories which starts in the Tyrolean Mountains after the fifth brother’s death and ends in a hotel room in Porto. A personal film about grief and farewell, about serenity and arrival as well as reunion and retrieval.
Directors Biography :Stefan Bohun , Born in Vienna, studied acting in Toronto, Canada, at the School of Physical Theatre and directing at the Vienna Film Academy under Peter Patzak and Michael Haneke. Stefan’s short films and documentaries have been screened at international film festivals and on television. In addition to cinematic productions and directing at the theatre (including in the context of “Istanbul 2010 European Capital of Culture”), since 2012 he regularly conducts short film workshops with young people.