Manoj Vajpayee, Vidya Balan, Samantha Akkineni and Pankaj Tripathi among the winners
Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK’s ‘The Family Man’ made it big at the latest edition of the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM) as the stars Manoj Bajpayee and Samantha Akkineni bagged the Best Actors award for their commendable performances in the second season of the popular web show.
On Friday, the organisers of IFFM conducted a virtual ceremony, wherein several winners were announced. Manoj won the award for Best Actor (Male) in Series while Samantha was honoured with Best Actor (Female) in Series award. Manoj was extremely happy on receiving the honour at IFFM. “Thank you to the jury members. Thank you to the whole team of ‘The Family Man’ for playing an instrumental role in making this show happen,” he said during his acceptance speech at the virtual ceremony of IFFM.
Actors Vidya Balan and Surya have also won Best Actor in Feature awards for their films ‘Sherni’ and ‘Soorarai Pottru’ respectively.
Personalities from the Indian film fraternity like Anurag Kashyap, Shoojit Sircar, Thiagarajan Kumararaja, Sriram Raghavan were amongst the presenters. Also present were jury members including Richa Chadha, Guneet Monga, Onir, Australian filmmaker Geoffrey Wright and Oscar-nominated editor Jill Bilcock.
IFFM honored Pankaj Tripathi with the Diversity in Cinema Award presented by LaTrobe University. Tamil film Soorarai Pottru walked away with the Best Feature Film and Suriya won the Best Actor award for the same project. Vidya Balan won the Best Actress for Sherni, while Mirzapur was given the Best Series Award. Filmmaker Anurag Basu picked up the Best Director trophy for the feature film Ludo. Manoj Bajpayee and Samantha Akkineni won awards for their roles in season two of Family Man as well. Malayalam film The Great Indian Kitchen was also recognised.
Speaking about the winners, the festival’s director Mitu Bhowmick Lange, says, “We congratulate all the winners and their teams for making great films that were loved by the audiences across the globe. It is about time that we have conversations in cinema and about cinema that are not mainstream and biased. It is time to present the diverse sensibilities through narratives that are ground-breaking and all the winners of the IFFM awards symbolize this fervour of thought.”
Suriya, on his part thanked his fans and Soorarai Pottru director Sudha Kongara, saying, “I’m sure all the nominees have given their best. This film is very special, and this is the first award I’m getting for this film. Thanks to all the fans who have given us so much love. In my career, I felt bored with what I was doing after having worked for 20 years. So thanks to my director Sudha — this film was her 10 years dream — she worked four years on writing or his film. The character of Maara will not be anything without her. I couldn’t ask for more.”
Vidya Balan said she was thrilled to be receiving the award for Sherni, which was shot during the pandemic, “Thanks to my director Amit Masurkar and my producer Abundantia, who pulled out all the stops to make this film during these uncertain times.”
On winning the Diversity in Cinema Award, Pankaj Tripathi said, “This award is special for me, I’m humbled and it’s really inspiring for me, my craft. The man who is here to give me this award, he is the one who discovered my talent. So, thanks to Anurag Kashyap sir. He is the one who rediscovered my talent. I’m grateful to all my directors, writers for having me part of their projects.”
And the award goes to…
Best Feature Film: Soorarai Pottru
Best Performance Male (Feature): Suriya Sivakumar (Soorarai Pottru)
Best Performance Female (Feature): Vidya Balan (Sherni) & Honourable mention to Nimisha Sajayan (The Great Indian Kitchen)
Best Director: Anurag Basu (Ludo) & Honorary Mention Prithvi Konanur (Pinki Elli?)
Best Series: Mirzapur Season 2
Best Actress in a Series: Samantha Akkineni (The Family Man 2)
Best Actor in a Series: Manoj Bajpayee (The Family Man 2)
Equality in Cinema (Short Film): Sheer Qorma
Equality in Cinema Award (Feature Film): The Great Indian Kitchen
Best Indie Film: Fire in the Mountains
Diversity in Cinema Award: Pankaj Tripathi
Disruptor Award: Sanal Kumar Sasidharan
Best Documentary Film: Shut Up Sona