27 September 2021 23:45

IFFM Special: Suriya rocks, Vidya thrills, Manoj excites and Pankaj soothes in Indian Film Festival of Melbourne Awards

The outstanding list of winners of the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne 2021 from Ludo, Soorarai Pottru, Manoj Bajpayee, Suriya Sivakumar, Pankaj Tripathi and Vidya Balan

Indian Super Star Suriya Sivakumar’s film Soorarai Pottru bagged the Best Feature Film award at the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne in an online award ceremony on Saturday 20 August 2021.

But it was not all for him, Suriya also won the Best Actor Male for Soorarai Pottru, While Actress Vidya Balan bagged Best Actor Female for her critically acclaimed film Sherni.

For the delight of the virtual attendees of the award ceremony, Suriya was present for the whole of the two and a half hours of the online program. Vidya Balan who could not attend the function sent a heart-touching message to the organisers and her fans.

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A new category of web series was introduced in this years edition of the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne Awards. The Family Man 2 actors Manoj Bajpayee and Samantha Akkineni were among the winners of male and female awards respectively.

Filmmaker Anurag Basu won the award for ‘Best Director’ for LUDO. 

“Humbling to be part of the nominees and to be winning the best director. Thankful to Netflix and T-Series. My actors were amazing to stand by me. Such amazing people, my crew, my actors. Such a crazy bunch of people. This award shows us that despite all the situation we are in, cinema will continue to be celebrated.”

And Pankaj Tripathi starer Mirzapur Season 2 won the Best Series award for 2021.

Versatile actor Pankaj Tripathi was judged the winner of the Diversity in Cinema Award. He joined the award ceremony from the shooting location in Ladakh. Pankaj thanked Filmmaker Anurag Kashyap for rediscovering his talent via his film ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’.

“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. So I’m grateful to you. I’m grateful to all my directors, writers for having me part of their projects.”

The biggest names of contemporary Indian cinema like Shoojit Sircar, Thiagarajan Kumararaja, Sriram Raghavan and Anurag Kashyap were present to support and guide the new breed of filmmakers and artists from Australia and around the world.

The outstanding list of winners of the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne 2021.

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1- Best Feature Film – Soorarai Pottru
2- Best Performance Male (Feature) – Suriya Sivakumar (Soorarai Pottru)
3- Best Performance Female (Feature) – Vidya Balan (Sherni) & Honourable mention to Nimisha Sajayan (The Great Indian Kitchen)
4- Best Director – Anurag Basu (Ludo) & Honorary Mention Prithvi Konanur (Pinki Elli?)
5- Best Series – Mirzapur Season 2
6- Best Actress in a Series – Samantha Akkineni (The Family Man 2)
7- Best Actor in a Series – Manoj Bajpayee (The Family Man 2)
8- Equality in Cinema (Short Film) – Sheer Norma
9- Equality in Cinema Award (Feature Film) – The Great Indian Kitchen
10- Best Indie Film – Fire in the Mountains
11- Diversity in Cinema Award – Pankaj Tripathi
12- Disruptor Award – Sanal Kumar Sasidharan
13- Best Documentary Film – Shut Up Sona

The IFFM 2021 had the privilege of some of the biggest Australian film talents on the jury panel. This year’s festival jury boasts names like global award-winning film editor Jill Bilcock, one of Australia’s renowned actors Vince Colosimo and multi-award-winning director Geoffrey Wright.

Beautifully bold Richa Chadha and handsomely different Onir constituted the jury in a short film competition.

Speaking at the award ceremony Suriya called Soorarai Pottru ‘a special film’. He also said it was special as it was the first movie that came to him during the pandemic and this was the first award it was receiving.

“I felt bored with what I was doing after having worked for 20 years. So thanks to my director Sudha Prasad – this film was her 10 years dream – she worked 4 years on writing for his film. The character of Maara will not be anything without her. I couldn’t ask for more.”

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