Konkani film wins Toronto award


The man beyond the bridge

The film, which had created a buzz at the festival, was honoured for its sensitive exploration of "smaller but enduring dilemmas". A loose adaptation of a story by noted Goan litterateur Mahabaleshwar Sail, is the first-ever Konkani-language film to win a major international award.

The jury citation for Shetgaonkar's film read: "Far from the sensory overload of India's big cities, this film explores smaller but enduring dilemmas, drawing together keen environmental sensitivity with a nuanced view of village dynamics."

'The Man Beyond the Bridge' is about a widowed forest ranger Vinayak who develops an intimate relationship with a mentally ill woman and, in his struggle to give her a fair chance to rebuild her life, antagonises his community. "Director Shetgaonkar, immersed in the culture of the region, tells his tale with grace and attentiveness, taking the village traditions and beliefs seriously, while casting a jaundiced eye on those who exploit them," the jury said.

The Toronto award is a huge triumph for Konkani cinema. "I wrote the screenplay four years ago and it was a struggle to bring this story to the screen," Shetgaonkar said.

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