Debut director Prateek Vats’ “Eeb Allay Ooo!”, a satirical social commentary revolving around a monkey wrangler in New Delhi, won three awards at the 21st edition of the Mumbai Film Festival, which concluded Thursday.
The film won the Golden Gateway first prize in the festival’s India Gold competition, the best actor award for Shardul Bhardwaj, and the Young Critics’ Choice award. It had its world premiere at the Pingyao festival earlier this month in China.
Gitanjali Rao’s “Bombay Rose,” a Mumbai-set animated romance, which has played in Toronto, Venice, Busan and London, won the Silver Gateway award. It shared the inaugural Manish Acharya award for new voices in Indian cinema with first-time director Achal Mishra’s family drama, “Gamak Ghar.”
Another debut feature, Kislay’s “Aise Hi,” a portrait of an elderly woman’s emancipation, won best actress for Mohini Sharma and the Film Critics Guild award. The film had its world premiere in Busan’s New Currents competition.
Deepti Gupta’s “Shut Up Sona,” a documentary about a singer’s fight against patriarchy, won a special mention from the Critics Guild.
Ljubomir Stefanov and Tamara Kotevska’s North Macedonian Oscar contender “Honeyland,” about the last female bee hunter in Europe, which came to Mumbai festooned with several awards, won the Golden Gateway prize in Mumbai’s international competition.
Rodd Rathjen’s powerful Australian Berlin winner and Oscar hopeful “Buoyancy” won the Silver Gateway prize in the international contest, while Suhaib Gasmelbari’s affectionate documentary on Sudanese film history, “Talking About Trees,” won the Grand Jury prize, adding to its wins in Athens, Berlin, El Gouna and Istanbul.
Sponsored by billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Jio telecom business and Disney’s Star India channels, the prizes are generous. Golden Gateway awards each come with a cash prize of $35,000. Silver Gateway awards earn $21,000, and the special jury awards $7,000.