Tibet Sun Newsroom
MCLEOD GANJ, India, 4 November 2016
Independent Hindi feature film Kalichaat won four awards at the Free Spirit Film Festival, which concluded on Tuesday night in McLeod Ganj with audience attending from various parts of the world.
Kalichaat, directed by Sudhanshu Sharma, won Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Audience Awards. The film depicts very realistically the lives of farmers in Western Madhya Pradesh, India, through the story of one family’s desperate search for water on their land, and how bureaucratic corruption was their biggest obstacle. The story shows the conditions which drive so many Indian farmers to suicide.
Another film from India, The School Bag, won two awards at the Festival, in Best Cinematography and Special Mention. Directed by Dheeraj Jindal, The School Bag is a short drama about a mother and her small son who became victims of internal conflict in Pakistan.
The Best Documentary Award went to Red Clothes, directed by Lida Chan. The film is about the deplorable working conditions of garment workers in Cambodia, and their struggle for a living wage.
The Special Jury Award was given to My Life I Don’t Want, a 12-minute animation film by Nyan Kyal Say from Myanmar. The film very creatively showed the hardships due to inequality experienced by many girls in Myanmar.
Spanish filmmaker Julián Quintanilla’s short film The Whole World bagged two awards for Best Short Film and Best Editing.
Julián Quintanilla, whose film is scheduled to screen one more time on Saturday because of his late arrival at the Festival, received the winning certificates at the Tsuglakhang temple of the Dalai Lama, where he said, “Free Spirit Film Festival is a magical meeting for filmmakers and film lovers to keep cinema more alive than ever in the most peaceful and free place in the world. The magic… lives here!”
“I am very honoured to receive The Best Short Film and the Best Editing Awards in this magical festival. I come from Spain, a very different culture, but I could feel here harder than ever that we all share a universal feeling for love and soul.”
Other awards were Best Music to Slightly Mad directed by Nagaraju Rachakonda, Best Art Direction to Schirkoa by Ishan Shukla, and Best Original Concept to Super Man by Shreekara Bhat.
Director of the festival Lobsang Wangyal congratulated the winners and all the filmmakers who showed their trust in the Festival by taking part in it.
He particularly lauded the captivating film Kalichaat. He feels it is a must-watch film, and hopes it will get more attention.
Wangyal said that there are many talented filmmakers with new ideas and approaches who would like to share their films. He added that they need platforms to do that, and the Free Spirit Film Festival is providing that platform, and promoting the filmmakers.
The Free Spirit Film Festival was started in 2004. Since then it has been organised annually, promoting independent filmmakers and bringing films from around the world to McLeod Ganj.