Mumbai Film Festival Winners Include Benh Zeitlin's 'Beasts of the Southern Wild'

7:05 AM PST 10/26/2012 by Nyay Bhushan
Ben Richardson
"Beasts of the Southern Wild"

Mexican drama “Aquí Y Alla” (Here And There) and India's “Miss Lovely” are also among the films honored.

MUMBAI – The 14th Mumbai Film Festival ended here with an awards ceremony that honored such movies as U.S. film Beasts of the Southern Wild, Mexico's Here and There, Denmark's The Hunt and India's Miss Lovely.

Mexican immigrant drama Aquí Y Alla (Here And There) won the award for the best film by a debutant director in the international competition category. The film was honored with the Golden Gateway of India award and a cash prize of $ 100,000. It also won the Silver Gateway Award for best director given to Antonio Méndez Esparza.

American fantasy drama Beasts of the Southern Wild from director Benh Zeitlin won the Jury Grand Prize Silver Gateway of India Award and $50,000 cash prize. Beasts also won the Mumbai Young Critics best film award.

Danish drama The Hunt, directed by Thomas Vinterberg and starring Mads Mikkelsen, earned the Audience Choice Award and a $20,000 cash prize.

Best actor honors went to Dwight Henry for Beasts of the Southern Wild, while Julia Garner was picked as best actress for her turn as a teenager who believes she has had an immaculate conception in Electrick Children.

This year's newly introduced India Gold category saw Ashim Ahluwalia's Miss Lovely - set in Mumbai's underground C-grade film scene - winning best film and a cash prize of Rupees 1 million ($20,000). Miss Lovely, which premiered at Cannes this year, was also given the Reliance MediaWorks CreaTech (Creativity & Technology) Award.

The India Gold runner's up award with a cash prize of Rupees 500,000 went to Shahid, based on the life of slain human rights activist Shahid Azmi and directed by Hansal Mehta.

Special Jury Awards were given to Manjeet Singh for Mumbai Cha Raja and Musa Sayeed for Kashmir-based drama Valley Of Saints. The Jury Award for Technical Excellence went to Pankaj Kumar for Ship Of Theseus directed by Anand Gandhi.

MFF is organized by the Mumbai Academy of the Moving Image and co-presented by Reliance Entertainment and American Express. This year's event was held at the National Center for Performing Arts in South Mumbai.

Veteran Bollywood actress Waheeda Rehman was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award. "I'm thrilled to receive this award from MAMI, a body of the industry at an international film hosted in my city Mumbai, and that too during the course of the centenary year of Indian cinema", said Rehman whose credits include classics by director Guru Dutt such as Pyaasa (Thirsty) and Kaagaz Ke Phool (Paper Flowers).

Spain’s Blancanieves, a black-and-white silent drama based on Snow White and directed by Pablo Berger, screened as the festival's closing film.

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