Director Praveen Morchhale's "Widow of Silence" has bagged the Grand Jury Award for best feature at the 17th edition of the Indian Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA). The film portrays the life of a Muslim woman, struggling to get the death certificate of her missing husband.
"We present the grand jury prize to a film that illuminates a condition that most of the world doesn't get to see and shines a light on the characters that live through it every day," the grand jury said in a statement. "This filmmaker's civic disobedience illustrates their love and compassion for their country and their people, and the craft of their filmmaking was beautiful, wise and refined," it added.
Director Sandhya Suri's "The Field" was announced as the winner of the Grand Jury Award for best short at the awards. "The film takes images that normally evoke a sense of fear and flips the narrative on its head redefining a new more empowered world for the female protagonist and exploring an often unseen story of a woman's drive and agency over her own body and life," the jury said.
"Set against a visually stunning landscape and beautiful photography of rural India, the filmmaker's adept storytelling comes to life flowing through rhythmic twists and turns imbued with both the mundane day-to-day life and desirous love," it added. Documentary filmmaker Anand Patwardhan's politically-charged "Reason" and Shazia Iqbal's "Bebaak", co-produced by Anurag Kashyap, were announced as the winners of the Audience Award for Best Feature and Best Short, respectively.
The IFFLA concluded on Sunday with a red carpet and a glamorous gala, featuring the world premiere of director Megha Ramaswamy's "The Odds", a coming-of-age tale about two teens who skip school on an important exam day and go on a fantastical journey through Mumbai. "Taking the Horse to Eat Jalebis" by Anamika Haksar was awarded an Audience Award honourable mention.
Actor Tabu was also honoured at the festival. Her latest film 'Andhadhun' was recently released in China and has breached the Rs 200 crore mark at the box office.
(With inputs from agencies.)