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‘Burma VJ’ wins Mumbai prize

'August 17' nabs Golden Conch for docu

LONDON — Anders Ostergaard’s “Burma VJ — Reporting From a Closed Country” took the top prize at the 11th Mumbai Film Festival of Documentary, Animation and Short Films, which wrapped Tuesday.

The docu tells the story of the 2007 pro-democracy protests in Myanmar using smuggled amateur video footage.

Russian helmer Alexander Gutman’s “August 17” won the Golden Conch for docu. The pic looks at Boris Bezotechestvo, who was sentenced to life imprisonment and kept in a small prison cell with a limited view from the window. The jury praised the film’s “rigorous, transformative treatment of the unlimited human spirit in an extremely limited space.”

Ritu Sarin and Sonam Tenzing’s docu “The Sun Behind the Clouds” won the Silver Conch for “upholding the spirit of liberty and maintaining a sense of balance while bringing about different perspectives within the Tibetan struggle.”

“The Spell,” directed by Umesh Kulkarni, was judged the best fiction film while Sanjay Jangir’s “Wait and Path” won the Golden Conch for animation film.

Fest opened Feb. 3.