Manoj Bajpayee, Rani Mukerji and Sanju were all big winners at the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne 2018.
Rajkumar Hirania’s ‘Sanju’ on Sunday walked away with the Best Film honour here at the Westpac IFFM Awards night, where Manoj Bajpayee won the Best Actor for his yet-to-release ‘Gali Guleiyan’ and Rani Mukerji was named Best Actress for her performance in ‘Hichki’.
Rani Mukerji portrayed a woman with Tourette’s Syndrome in Hichki impressed one and all with her performance. She walked away with two honours at the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM) as she was also bestowed an ‘Excellence In Cinema’ award.
Overwhelmed by the honour, Rani thanked her fans world over for loving her and her work through the years.
Hirani won the Best Director for ‘Sanju’, a biopic on the life of Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt, while the IFFM Vanguard Award went to actor Ranbir Kapoor for his “breakthrough performance” in bringing alive Sanjay’s tumultuous life journey on-screen.
The director told IANS here that he is happy with the recognition for the movie and is excited about showcasing the movie at La Trobe University here, with “Sanju” co-writer Abhijat Joshi and actor Vicky Kaushal.
Vicky Kaushal was adjudged as the best supporting actor for his brilliant performance in ‘Sanaju’. Richa Chadha won the same honour for her power-packed role as a brothel owner in ‘Love Sonia’.
The jury members for the fest, launched by Mitu Bhowmick Lange, comprised Simi Garewal, Sue Maslin, Jill Bilcock, Nikkhil Advani and Geoffrey Wright. Wright, known for the Russell Crowe-starrer Romper Stomper, said that he was mighty impressed by the variety that Indian cinema currently has on offer. He said he feels that "perhaps it has gone from recreation to being serious cinema".
Actor Ali Fazal, who was the jury of the short film competition, chose To-let as the Indian winner and the Australian winner was Found, which is on Islamophobia.
IFFM began on Friday, as part of the celebrations, Rani on Saturday hoisted the Indian flag at the Federation House, which also became a stage for a dance competition, bringing the huge and diverse Indian community of Melbourne together -- denoting the unifying power of cinema.
The fest will end on August 22.
Here is the full list of winners:
Best Indie Film : LOVE SONIA
Best Indie Film Special Mention : GALI GULEIYAN (IN THE SHADOWS )
Equality in Cinema : MAHANATI
Diversity Award : FREIDA PINTO
Best Actor : MANOJ BAJPAYEE FOR GALI GULEIYAN (IN THE SHADOWS )
IFFM VANGUARD AWARD : Ranbir Kapoor for his Breakthrough Performance in Sanju
Best Actress : RANI MUKERJI FOR HICHKI
Best film : SANJU
Best Director : RAJKUMAR HIRANI
Best Supporting Performance : VICKY KAUSHAL FOR SANJU and RICHA CHADHA FOR LOVE SONIA
Excellence in Cinema : RANI MUKERJI