Rima Das’s Bulbul Can Sing won the top prize, the Golden Gateway award, on Thursday at the Mumbai Film Festival. Das’s Village Rockstars had won the award for best film at the festival last year. The Assamese-language Bulbul Can Sing explores sexual identities and young love through the friendship between three teenagers in rural Assam.
Phuttiphong Aroonpheng’s Thai film Manta Ray won the top award in the international competition category of the festival, which ran from October 25-November 1 and was organised by the Mumbai Academy of Moving Image. Manta Ray traces the complex friendship between a fisherman and a Rohingya refugee.
The Silver Gateway honour, the second prize in the Indian competition section, was shared by Ridham Janve’s The Gold Laden Sheep & The Sacred Mountain and Aditya Vikram Sengupta’s Jonaki. Marcelo Martinessi’s Paraguayan drama The Heiresses got the award in the international competition section.
Aadish Keluskar’s Jaoon Kahan Bata Ae Dil won the Young Critics Choice Award. Ivan Ayr’s Soni was named the Oxfam India Best Film on Gender Equality. Vasanth S Sai’s Sivaranjani and Two Other Women and Jonaki won Special Mention honours in the category.
Also in the competition for the top award in the Indian category were Vinit Chandrasekharan’s Bodhi, Kabir Chowdhry’s Mehsampur and Rahul Riji Nair’s Light In The Room.
The Grand Jury Award in the Indian category went to Mehsampur and The Island of Hungry Ghosts by Gabrielle Brady in the international category. Lovesick, Priya Giri Desai and Ann S Kim’s documentary on HIV positive patients, won the Special Award in the Discovering India category. Iranian filmmaker Alireza Motamedi’s Reza won the Special Jury Award in the international section.
The Golden Gateway Award (Feature) for The Half Ticket (Age 9+) category for children’s cinema went to Denis Do’s animation feature Funan. Priya Ramasubban’s Chuskit received the award for the Age 5-9 years category in the award.
Madhu Eravankara’s Malayalam book 100 Varsham, 100 Cinemakal won the Excellence in Writing on Cinema Award (Language In Focus), while the Excellence in Writing on Cinema Award (English) was bagged by Soha Ali Khan for The Perils of Being Moderately Famous.