Indian films win big at Remi awards

The Platinum Remi in the feature film category was bagged by 'Bodhisattva', a film shot in Kolkata, by young Houston filmmaker San Banerje with the legendary Indian actor Soumitra Chatterjee at International Film and Video Festival. The film, shot in 7 days, is a dark psychological drama about pride and passion, focused on Maya (Trisha Ray) a young woman who blames her father, Bodhisattva (Soumitra Chatterjee), for the suicide of her mother years earlier.

The film competed along with big films like Demi Moore-David Duchovny's 'The Joneses', Benjamin Bratt's 'La Mission' among other international films from different countries. The Silver Remi in the Comedy/ Feature film category was awarded to Pritish Nandy Communications, (PNC) production 'Saluun'. Directed by debutante Nikhil Bhatt, 'Saluun' is a tribute to middle class India depicting how common people teach a lesson to corrupt government officials.

Another PNC production, 'Ek Tho Chance', which marks the return of filmmaker Saeed Akhtar Mirza (Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyun Aata Hain, Salim Lande Pe Mat Ro, Mohan Joshi Haazir Ho, Nukkad), bagged a special jury award in Foreign Features at the festival. 'Ek Tho Chance' is Mumbai potboiler starring Amrita Arora, Rajat Kapoor, Vinay Pathak, which has already been invited to some of the top international festivals.

Earlier in 2004, movie 'Jhankaar Beats' won the Remi award. Later in 2007, 'Pyaar Ke Side Effects', a romantic comedy starring Mallika Sherawat and Rahul Bose won the Silver Remi Award for Best Comedy Feature.

"The main victory is to be in company of Bruce Bryant whose extraordinary documentary 'For Sake of the Song' won the Platinum in the documentary category," San Banerje, told reporters, soon after the awards were announced. "Our film was in competition with very big films made with pretty big budgets and to come out as a platinum winner with such a low budget handmade film - it definitely gives us the confidence to keep going," he added.

"Its a great honor for my entire crew, Soumitra Chatterjee's presence elevated the film and gave it a platform in front of the international audience," Banerje said. Houston-based actress, Trisha Ray, in an exclusive interview to reporters, said, "Winning a Remi Platinum is a dream come true. Platinum is usually for big cinema... so I wasn't even thinking about it... it was a huge shocker. Winning this award in the presence of international directors, producers, sponsors, patrons, was a big moment of pride and joy. It made us believe even more than before like we exist and are validated."

Kathleen Haney, Program Director of World Fest, said that all the three Indian movies were hugely appreciated by the jury as they were in the pool being considered for 'the Grand' which were the best of all features. The WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival, founded in 1961, is the third oldest independent film festival in the United States. This is the 43 annual WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival.Amongst some noted winners of the Worldfest have been Steven Spielberg, Ridley Scott, Ang Lee, Coen Brothers etc.

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