Juries of the 12th edition of the fest chose Nagraj Manjule’s Marathi-language “Fandry,” centering around a romance between two people of different castes for its feature film award. “All of the films were a pleasure to watch,” the jury said in a statement. “We are in awe of and inspired by the stories that the filmmakers brought to us. So many of the films dealt with the exploitation of children, such as child labor. The film we chose – ‘Fandry’ – features stunning cinematic quality and powerful story-telling, capturing the inner life of its young hero, and providing a detailed and intimate illustration of the social power structure of his village.”
The jurors were Variety critic David Chute, Crackle and Sony Pictures Television head of digital development John Orlando, actresses Shohreh Aghdashloo and Meera Simhan.
Fahad Mustafa and Deepti Kakkar directed “Powerless,” about India’s struggle to get electricity to its people. “For its portrayal of a community faced with a power struggle over limited resources and its complex web of stories, the jury gives the documentary award to ‘Powerless,’” the docu jury said. Filmmaker Brian Knappenberger, fest programmer Dilcia Barrera and producer Chris Salvaterra served on the documentary jury.
The short “Alchemy,” helmed by Pranay Patwardhan, Shivangi Ranawat and Janmeet Singh, received cash from HBO along with its prize. Its jury — comprising HBO’s Gena Desclos, fest programmer Heidi Zwicker and filmmaker Kamal K.M. — said, “The grand jury prize is presented to ‘Alchemy.’ Culturally rooted and formally inventive, this film used mixed media to create a one of a kind film-going experience.”
The audience awards went to Richie Mehta’s “Siddharth,” Pan Nalin’s “Faith Connections” and “Kush.”
The fest, which opened April 8, concluded on April 13 with Amit Gupta’s “Jadoo.”
(Pictured Richie Mehta (“Siddharth”), Nagraj Manjule (“Fandry”), Shivangi Ranawat (“Alchemy”), Vivek Kajaria (“Fandry”), and Pan Nalin ( “Faith Connections”) with their trophies at the festival.)