Indian Feminist Drama ’Parched’ Wins Stockholm’s Inaugural Impact Award

Leena Yadav’s “Parched” has won the inaugural impact award at Stockholm Film Festival on Nov. 17.

The India-set feminist drama nabbed a cash grant of 1 million Skr ($120K) to help finance her upcoming projects.

The prize was announced by Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, who presided the Impact jury which comprised Swedish theatre director Linus Tunstrom and Iranian film director Ida Panahandeh (”Nahid”). During the presser, Weiwei also unveiled a sculpture that he created for the winner.

”Through superb acting, giving unique insight into the minds and hearts of women in rural India, told with colorful, sensual cinematography, this film is a paradoxical celebration of life, in spite of tough circumstances, creating both anger and joy, giving fuel for debate as well as hope for change when addressing a burning question that affects, not half, but the whole of our society,” stated the jury.

Unfolding in a rural village in Northwest India, “Parched” turns on Rani, a woman who is about to marry her 17-year-old son with a girl two years younger. The wedding doesn’t go as planned and when Rani’s prostitute friend comes to the village, everything falls apart.

Co-produced between India, the U.S. and The U.K., “Parched” deals with domestic violence and inequality within the Indian society. The movie world premiered at Toronto to warm reviews and marks Yadav’s third directorial outing.

Stockholm has collaborated with Weiwei, who is also a docu filmmaker, for the last two years. In 2013, he was tapped to serve on the jury but was forbidden by the Chinese government to leave the country. So the festival dedicated him a “Chair for Nonattendance.” Last year Weiwei designed for the festival two ice sculptures inspired by the lions guarding the Forbidden City in Beijing.

“Stockholm has always been in the frontline in choosing interesting films, aesthetically and socially, which is very important today,” said Weiwei.

Dedicated to “headstrong visionaries who reflect our contemporary world,”the Stockholm Impact section included six other films, notably Lisa Aschan’s “White People,” a sci-fi inspired drama thriller about power and hierarchies, Mexican Matias Meyer’s loosely set J.L.G. Lé Clézio adaptation “Yo,” Erik Matti’s ”Honor Thy Father” from the Philippines, Yuval Delshad’s “Baba Joon” from Israel; and Sterlin Harjo’s “Mekko” from the U.S.

The prize is made possible with the contribution of City of Stockholm.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Inside an Inox Leisure multiplex in

    India's Inox Multiplex Chain Reveals Ambitious Growth Plans

    Indian multiplex chain Inox Leisure has revealed ambitious plans to more than double its existing screen capacity of 600. The company is planning to add 900 more screens across the country over the next decade. “That’s the realistic answer, but my desire is to do it over the next five years,” Siddharth Jain, director, Inox [...]

  • Joker

    Why 'Joker' Is About All of Us (Column)

    Take a look at the photo above. It’s the most poetic image to have emerged from Todd Phillips’ “Joker,” and the reason I say “poetic” isn’t just because the shot has that caught-in-action indelible vibe of a quintessential movie poster: graphic, hauntingly composed, a bit shocking (at least, the first time you see it). It’s [...]

  • Angelina Jolie is Maleficent in Disney’s

    'Maleficent: Mistress of Evil' Rules International Box Office With $117 Million

    Though Disney’s “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” stumbled at the domestic box office, the Angelina Jolie-led sequel enjoyed a far stronger start overseas. The follow-up to 2014’s fantasy adventure inspired by the “Sleeping Beauty” villain took off with $117 million from 56 international markets. In North America, “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” debuted with a meager $36 [...]

  • Angelina Jolie is Maleficent in Disney’s

    Box Office: 'Maleficent: Mistress of Evil' Dominates With Soft $36 Million

    Five years after Angelina Jolie’s “Maleficent” cast a spell over the box office, the villainous enchantress has returned to the top of domestic charts. Disney’s “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil,” a sequel to 2014’s fantasy adventure based on the “Sleeping Beauty” sorceress, flew lower than the original and debuted to a disappointing $36 million from 2,790 [...]

  • MIA Wrap

    Rome MIA Market Wraps With Stronger U.S. Presence, Boosts Italy's Industry Standing

    Rome’s MIA market for TV series, feature films and documentaries wrapped positively Sunday with organizers boasting a bump in attendance just as some 2,500 executives departed in an upbeat mood after four days of dealmaking and presentations of mostly European fresh product, which elevated Italy’s global standing in the industry, especially within the TV sector. [...]

  • Film Republic Adds Further Sales for

    Film Republic Inks Further Deals for 'God of the Piano' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Sales agent Film Republic has closed further territory sales on “God of the Piano.” Film Movement previously picked up North American rights to the film, as reported exclusively by Variety. Mont Blanc Cinema has taken the rights for Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and Paraguay. Limelight Distribution is looking after the Australian and New Zealand releases, Hualu [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content