Pan Nalin’s ode to cinema ‘Last Film Show’ (aka ‘Chhello Show’) won the Audience Award at the Blue Orchid Hotels London Indian Film Festival, which took place in London but also traveled to Birmingham , Manchester and Leeds between June 23 and July 8, 2022.
Nalin has already had success at the festival with his other award-winning films, including “Samsara”, “Valley of the Flowers” and “Angry Indian Goddess”.
In the Satayjit Ray Shorts category, “Jaagran,” co-directed by Ritviq Joshi and Hardik Sadhwani, won the LIFF Jury Prize. Jury judges awarded the film for its “engaging, relatable and witty exploration of a serious issue that everyone can relate to”. They also said they found it “socially and politically astute, brilliantly acted and hilarious”.
“‘Jaagran’ was an overambitious 20-page dream we saw together,” Joshi and Sadhwani said. “Miraculously, we assembled an experienced team who believed in the script, helped us learn and turn our dream into reality. Today, after being honored to receive an award bearing Satyajit Ray’s name, we are back to square one. We are back in a dream. Only this time it’s not limited to the two of us. This one belongs to twenty other dreamers.
Other awards were presented to actors Taapsee Pannu and Konkona Sen Sharma who received outstanding awards, filmmaker and actor Nandita Das and director Aparna Sen who received the Icon award.
“Making films on my own terms without commercial compromise for 40 years has often seemed like a thankless job, but now, after the LIFF Icon Award, I feel vindicated. Thanks to LIFF for continuing to believe in meaningful cinema,” Sen said.
“We are delighted that the festival’s drive to return fully to cinemas in the UK cities of London, Birmingham and Manchester has been welcomed by record audiences. Some cinemas, such as the BFI Southbank, described the festival as their bestseller over the period. There is clearly an appetite to return to the big screen, especially with a festival cocktail of high-quality premieres with frequent guest appearances,” said festival director Cary Rajinder Sawhney.
“We had a march of top Indian talent to the festival, which was hard to ignore, capped by our world premiere of enfant terrible director Anurag Kashyap’s ‘Dobaaraa’, with Bollywood stars Taapsee Pannu and Pavail Gulati on the red carpet: the tour de force of the great independent actress-directors [continued with] Aparna Sen, Nandita Das and Konkona Sen Sharma, plus British icon Meera Syal [and] strongly cemented the festival’s image as a one-stop destination for thought-provoking, yet entertaining, intellectual debate, with young women in particular saying the Q&A and conversations had deeply inspired them.
A selection of the program is now available on BFI Player and the LoveLiffatHome Online Player.