India's 'Mard' beats Hollywood bigwigs, wins TIFF award

India's 'Mard' beats Hollywood bigwigs, wins TIFF award

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Vasan Bala's "Mard Ko Dard Nahin Hota", which became the first Indian film to premier in the Midnight Madness section of the 43rd Toronto International Film Festival, has won the Grolsch Viewers' Choice Award.

David Gordon Green's "Halloween" and Sam Levinson's "Assassination Nation" bagged the second and third positions respectively.

"It hasn't sunk in yet," said Vasan Bala during the post-awards brunch. "It probably will when I am on the flight back to Mumbai," the director added.

"Mard Ko Dard Nahin Hota", completed just in time for TIFF, stars newcomer Abhimanyu Dassani in the role of a young man who has a congenital disorder that makes him incapable of feeling any pain. The condition allows him to jump into violent fights and brawls without worrying about being hurt.

The film stars Radhika Madan in the key role of the hero's girlfriend who is no mean fighter herself.

Another Indian film, "The Field", directed by London-based Sandhya Suri, won the IWC International Short Films Award.

"It is amazing that this film about a woman in rural India has been recognised in this way in TIFF, she said in a recorded message from the UK.

"The Field" is a 19-minute fiction film about a woman who works on a north Indian farm and finds a way against all odds to assert her innermost urges in an ultra-conservative setting.

Peter Farrelly's "The Green Book", starring Mahershala Ali and Viggo Mortensen, won the festival's Grolsch People's Choice Award, while Barry Jenkins' "If Beale Street Could Talk", adapted from a James Baldwin story, and Alfonso Cuaron's black and white Venice winner "Roma" took home the runners-up prizes. 

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