The Indian Film Festival of Melbourne’s award ceremonies announced the winners of its latest edition, which included ‘The Family Man 2’ actors Manoj Bajpayee and Samantha Akkineni. IFFM 2021 was held virtually on Friday, with several stars from various industries in attendance. Among the winners for best performance are Tamil actor Suriya for Soorarai Pottru and Bollywood actress Vidya Balan for Sherni.
In Raj and DK’s The Family Man 2, Samantha made her digital debut. Telugu star, who played the nemesis of Manoj Bajpayee in the Amazon Prime Video series, said it was her first time at the festival and she was delighted to win Best Actress in a Series. ‘To be here amongst such immense talent… I’m grateful and it’s such a huge honour. Thanks to Raj and DK to see past the cute girl image I have and to give me this role which is so different from what I have done so far. To give me this character that has so many layers and such diverse parts to it. It’s my big dive into OTT and what an amazing show to do it with,’ Samantha said after her win.
The award is Manoj Bajpayee’s second at the film festival. In 2018, he won the Best Actor award for Gali Guleiyan. Bajpayee expressed his gratitude for the platform. As he won today’s Best Actor in a Series Oscar for The Family Man 2, he said, ‘Cinema or series – are both highly collaborative. It’s highly embarrassing for me to take away the award to myself without mentioning everyone involved – Amazon, Raj, and DK. But it’s the writers for the series that make a lot of difference. It’s that team of writers, so thank you to them for giving me the space to become this character.’
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Suriya’s Soorarai Pottru was also named Best Feature Film. Suriya, who took time off from his busy schedule of shooting, accepted the awards on behalf of the film and himself. He called Soorarai Pottru a ‘special film’ in his speech. Additionally, he explained that this was the first film that came to him during the pandemic, so this was the first award it received. ‘I felt bored with what I was doing after having worked for 20 years. So thanks to my director Sudha Prasad – this film was her 10 years dream – she worked 4 years on writing for his film. The character of Maara will not be anything without her. I couldn’t ask for more.’
The list of winners of the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM) 2021 is below.
Best Feature Film – Soorarai Pottru
Best Performance Male (Feature) – Suriya Sivakumar (Soorarai Pottru)
Best Performance Female (Feature) – Vidya Balan (Sherni) & Honourable mention to Nimisha Sajayan (The Great Indian Kitchen)
Best Director – Anurag Basu (Ludo) & Honorary Mention Prithvi Konanur (Pinki Elli?)
Best Series – Mirzapur Season 2
Best Actress in a Series – Samantha Akkineni (The Family Man 2)
Best Actor in a Series – Manoj Bajpayee (The Family Man 2)
Equality in Cinema (Short Film) – Sheer Qorma
Equality in Cinema Award (Feature Film) – The Great Indian Kitchen
Best Indie Film – Fire in the Mountains
Diversity in Cinema Award – Pankaj Tripathi
Disruptor Award – Sanal Kumar Sasidharan
Best Documentary Film – Shut Up Sona
The Diversity in Cinema Award went to Pankaj Tripathi. He called the honor ‘inspiring for my craft.’ Tripathi received a tribute from filmmaker Anurag Kashyap. The ace actor credited Kashyap for giving him the big chance in his Gangs of Wasseypur. ‘The man who is here to give me this award. He is the one who discovered my talent. So thanks to Anurag Kashyap sir. He is the one who rediscovered my talent. So I’m grateful to you. I’m grateful to all my directors, writers for having me part of their projects.’
The jury included eminent Indian artistes like Shoojit Sircar, Anurag Kashyap, Thiagarajan Kumararaja, Sriram Raghavan were amongst the presenters, along with Richa Chadha, Guneet Monga and Onir.
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