‘Mondo’ nabs Nat’l Film Award

Judges reward pic's 'poetic exploration' of society

NEW DELHI — Bengali films dominated India’s prestigious National Film Awards with Buddhadeb Dasgupta’s “Mondo Meyer Upakhyan” (The Tale of a Naughty Girl) nabbing feature honors under the noses of the better-promoted Hindi fare.

Judges dishing out the awards in New Delhi on Saturday rewarded “Mondo” for its “poetic exploration of human and social realities concerning people on the fringes of society.”

Aparna Sen won helmer honors for “Mr and Mrs Iyer” and his daughter Konkona Sen Sharma won actress for her “strong and effective portrayal of a Tamil Brahmin woman caught between an orthodox mindset and compassion” in the pic.

Bollywood’s Hindi offerings were by no means disgraced with Ajay Devgan scooping actor honors for his title role in “The Legend of Bhagat Singh,” which also won in the Hindi film category.

“2002 has seen a tremendous revival of Bengali cinema with a very good crop of films,” said jury chair Prakash Jha.

The Indian industry produces about 800 to 900 films a year, around 280 are Hindi-language movies produced by Bollywood in Mumbai.

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