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Amid COVID-19 lockdown, Bollywood director receives award for film through courier

Best Emerging Director award


Director Ram Kamal Mukherjee was surprised to receive a courier a day before the 21 days lockdown announcement from Cafe Irani Chai International Festival with a note from Festival Director Mohan Das. Das said, Keeping the ongoing Corona Virus and health concern of all the winners, we have decided to courier the certificates and trophies to the winners,” says Mohan Das. Ram Kamal Mukherjee won the Best Emerging Director for his bilingual Bengali/Hindi feature film Rickshawala. The festival was supposed to honour all the winners at a grand ceremony last week in Mumbai. International delegates and bureaucrats from Iran Embassy were supposed to attend the function. We decided to have a very low key screening of the films for our jury members under proper sanitized ambiance. And instead of pushing the award ceremony we thought of sending the trophies at their address through courier.

Ram Kamal’s film Rickshawala got applause from the jury members for simple yet impactful narrative of hand pulled rickshaw drivers in Kolkata. The film marks debut of Bollywood actor Avinash Dwivedi in Bengali cinema. The music of the film also drew special attention. It’s a tribute to Om Puri and Balraj Sahani, who portrayed the role of a rickshwala in City Of Joy and Do Bigha Zameen respectively. The film also stars Kasturi Chakraborty and Sangita Sinha as female lead. Modhura Palit, the only women cinematographer to be honoured at Cannes Film Festival in 2019, has shot in Kolkata for the film.

While most national and international film festivals are being either cancelled or postponed till further notice, they decided to keep the festival on. “I am glad that they decided to honour the winners like this, it’s a wise decision keeping the Corona pandemic in mind,” says director Ram Kamal Mukherjee.

Instead of hosting a grand ceremony, the organisers decided to courier the trophy to Ram Kamal Mukherjee keeping Coronavirus in mind.
L to R: Avinash Dwivedi with director Ram Kamal Mukherjee

Most filmmakers are upset that major festivals are getting scrapped or pushed. They are taking social media to express their concern. “I can imagine the pain of an independent filmmaker goes through when such decisions are taken. Obviously we cannot risk human life, but at the same time the entire effort (creative and financial) goes down the drain when such unforeseen situation occurs,” says Ram Kamal. Incidentally, most award ceremonies are now planning to have digital award ceremony by announcing the winners and withheld the ground event ceremony till everything is under control.

Apart from Ram Kamal’s Rickshawala, Iranian film Daughters of Winter by Behzad Khodaveisi bagged Best Director Award. The film is about women in Iran who have time and again silently dreaded violence, war, poverty and longing yet never seize to dream.

National Award winner Amaravaati by B R Giriraj won the Best Feature Film award, while Seema Biswas bagged Best Actress award for Abode (Idam) and Iranian actress Laeia Zanganeh bagged Best Actress for Women Who Run With Wolves.

“I am honoured to be a part of this prestigious festival, as I have grown up watching masterpieces by Kiarostami, Makhmalbaf and Majidi. They have inspired me in telling simple stories with stunning climaxes,” says Ram Kamal. 

Also read: Actor Purab Kohli reveals he contracted COVID-19 along with wife and kids, recovering now

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Bollywood

Ram Kamal Mukherjee named ‘Best Director’ for his short film ‘Ek Duaa’ at IWMBuzz Digital Awards

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Nation Next Newsroom | Mumbai

Ram Kamal Mukherjee (R) whikle receiving the ‘Best Director’ trophy at IWMBuzz Digital Awards ceremony in Mumbai

Filmmaker Ram Kamal Mukherjee won the ‘Best Director’ award for his short film ‘Ek Duaa’ at the recently held IWMBuzz Digital Awards ceremony at Taj Lands End in Mumbai. The film is produced by Esha Deol Takhtani and Assorted Motion Pictures. Apart from winning the award, it was a special occasion for Mukherjee as two other films he directed also got recognized.

Esha won the ‘Best Actress’ award in the popular categories for her critically acclaimed performance in ‘Ek Duaa.’ After accepting the award, Esha said: “This film is extremely special for me, because I turned producer with this film and I would like to give entire credit to captain of the ship Ram Kamal Mukherjee for bringing such a wonderful subject to me.”

Avinash Dwivedi won the ‘Most Promising Debut’ award for his acclaimed performance in ‘Rickshawala,’ a film directed by Mukherjee. Avinash, who was accompanied by his wife and actor Sambhavna Seth, said: “This is beyond my expectation that today I am getting this recognition as an actor amidst all Bollywood celebrities for my role in Ram Kamal sir’s film Rickshawala. To get honoured for a regional cinema amidst such Bollywood biggie reinforced my faith in good content.”

Gurmeet Choudhary won the ‘Most Popular Actor’ award for his performance in Mukherjee’s film ‘Shubho Bijoya.’ Choudhary said: “Ram Kamal is an amazing story teller. When he narrated this story to me and Debina, we knew that this film will click instantly. I am honoured to receive this award, though the competition was really tough. I thank my fans and jury members who voted for me.”

Other winners at the award ceremony included Kartik Aaryan, Kiara Advani, Rakul Preet, Raveena Tandon, Huma Qureshi, Dino Morea, Sikander Kher, Sonu Sood, Anurag Kashyap, Guneet Monga, Manish Paul and other popular names from the Hindi film industry.

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Bollywood

JUST MARRIED! Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt tie the knot | Check pictures

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Radhika Dhawad | Mumbai

The much awaited Ranbir Kapoor-Alia Bhatt wedding fans had been eagerly waiting for finally got solemnised today afternoon in the presence of close friends and family members at Ranbir’s residence ‘Vastu’ in Mumbai. Check out some pictures of the same…

Alia took to her social media to write, “Today, surrounded by our family and friends, at home … in our favourite spot – the balcony we’ve spent the last 5 years of our relationship – we got married.

With so much already behind us, we can’t wait to build more memories together … memories that are full of love, laughter, comfortable silences, movie nights, silly fights, wine delights and Chinese bites.
Thank you for all the love and light during this very momentous time in our lives. It has made this moment all the more special.
Love,
Ranbir and Alia ✨♥️”

Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt

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Bollywood

The Kashmir Files should be declared tax-free in Maharashtra, says BJP spokesperson Rajeev Panday

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Radhika Dhawad | Mumbai

 

BJP spokesperson for Maharashtra Rajeev Panday, while speaking to Nation Next, said the controversial movie ‘The Kashmir Files,’ which grossed over ₹240 crore in India, should be made tax-free in the state. 

 

Panday told Nation Next, “The movie has managed to depict, if not all, the brutalities on Kashmiri Pandits. It is a bold representation of truth. Kashmiri Pandit community was forced to leave their own homes in the country. Imagine their plight! Maharashtra government should make it tax-free in their state like the BJP did.”

 

The movie, which is based on the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from the Valley in the 1990s, has been made tax-free in at least BJP-run eight states namely Haryana, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Karnataka, Goa, Tripura and Uttar Pradesh. Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had also received requests asking him to exempt the film from entertainment tax in the state.

A lawyer and an actor, Rajeev Panday was appointed as the spokesperson for BJP in Maharashtra in 2017. Besides practicing in The Supreme Court of India and Bombay High Court for around 15 years, Panday has also been a name to reckon with in the entertainment industry.

 

 

 

Rajeev Panday

 

Rajeev Panday

 

 
Panday, who’s acted in Bollywood grocers like Amitabh Bachchan’s starrer Pink and John Abraham’s starrer Madras Cafe, has given many terrific performances on stage. He started doing theatre in 1998 with famous theatre group Act One in Delhi. After shifting his base to Mumbai (in 2003) to practice law, Panday continued to dabble in theatre and films. His recent performances at Ibsen Festival at Prithvi Theatre were appreciated well by the audience and critics alike.
 

 

A law graduate from Delhi University’s Campus Law Centre, Panday has also been actively involved in legal activism. Through his Public Interest Litigations, Panday has raised many pertinent issues like regulation of television content and charitable hospitals not providing free treatment to the poor people.

 

In his longstanding association with the BJP, Panday has served the party as the convenor of its Mumbai Human Rights cell and the convenor of the Election Cell of its Maharashtra unit.

 

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