Pan Nalin’s ode to cinema “Last Film Show” (aka “Chhello Show”) earned the audience award at The Blue Orchid Hotels London Indian Film Festival, which took place in London, but also traveled to Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds between June 23 and July 8, 2022.
Nalin has previously enjoyed success at the festival with his other award-winning films including “Samsara,” “Valley of the Flowers” and “Angry Indian Goddess.”
In the Satayjit Ray short film category “Jaagran,” co-directed by Ritviq Joshi and Hardik Sadhwani, won the LIFF Jury Prize. Jury judges awarded the film for its “engaging, relatable and witty exploration of a serious issue everyone can identify with.” They also said they found it, “socially and politically astute, brilliantly acted and hilariously funny.”
“ ‘Jaagran’ was an over-ambitious 20 page dream that we saw together,” said Joshi and Sadhwani. “Miraculously, we put together an experienced team who believed in the script, helped us learn and turn our dream into reality. Today, after getting the honor of receiving an award with Satyajit Ray’s name on it, we’re back to square one. We’re back in a dream. Only this time, it’s not limited to the two of us. This one belongs to twenty more dreamers.”
Other prizes were awarded to actors Taapsee Pannu and Konkona Sen Sharma who collected outstanding achievement awards, filmmaker and actor Nandita Das, and director Aparna Sen, who received the Icon Award.
“Making films on my own terms without commercial compromise for 40 years, has often seemed a thankless job, but now, after the Icon Award from LIFF I feel vindicated. Thank you LIFF for continuing to believe in meaningful cinema,” said Sen.
“We are delighted that the festival’s drive to return fully to cinemas in U.K. cities London, Birmingham and Manchester has been responded to by record audiences. Certain cinemas, such as the BFI Southbank, described the festival as their best seller over the period. There is clearly an appetite to return to the big screen, especially with a festival cocktail of high quality premieres with frequent guest appearances,” said festival director Cary Rajinder Sawhney.
“We have had a march of high level Indian talent to the festival, which has been difficult to ignore, helmed by our world premiere of enfant terrible director Anurag Kashyap’s ‘Dobaaraa,’ with Bollywood stars Taapsee Pannu and Pavail Gulati on the red carpet. The tour de force of female indie actor-director greats [continued with] Aparna Sen, Nandita Das and Konkona Sen Sharma, plus British icon Meera Syal [and] strongly cemented the image of the festival as the sole destination for intellectually, stimulating but entertaining debate, with young women in particular stating that the Q&As and in-conversations had deeply inspired them.”
A selection from the program is now available on BFI Player and the LoveLiffatHome Online Player.