'White 'Lightnin'' tops at Mumbai fest

Denmark's Steen wins best actress, Hogg best actor

NEW DELHI -- The 11th Mumbai Film Festival wrapped Thursday night here with U.K. film “White Lightnin'” winning the Golden Gateway of India Award, with a cash prize of $100,000.

The prize will be shared equally between the film's director Dominic Murphy and producers Mike Downy and Sam Taylor. “Lightnin'” also bagged best actor for Edward Hogg for his turn as an Appalachian step dancer.

Denmark's Paprika Steen won best actress for “Applause” directed by Martin Pieter Zandvliet, which revolves around a celebrated actress battling alcoholism.

Australian-Italian co-production “La Pivellina” ("The Little One") won the Silver Gateway of India Award and the jury grand prize in the same category with co-directors Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel collecting a cash prize of $25,000.

The international jury award for the best first film by a director went to Uruguay's Adria'n Biniez for “Gigante” ("Giant"), a love story of a nightshift shopping mall security guard smitten by a female coworker.

The Mumbai Young Critics jury award went to Iran's “Whisper With The Wind” by director Shahram Alidi on the socio political aspirations of the Kurdish people while a special mention went to another Iranian film “Women Without Men” by Shirin Neshar.

Iconic Indian superstar Amitabh Bachchan was honored with the lifetime achievement award to mark 40 years of his career which has delivered some of Hindi filmdom's most acclaimed and successful hits.

Greek maestro Theo Angelopoulos was honored with the International Lifetime Achievement Award.

The MFF jury was headed by Hollywood screenwriter/director Paul Schrader and included Sri Lankan filmmaker Vimukthi Jayasundara, Philippine filmmaker Brillante Mendoza, Indian filmmaker Shaji N. Karun and the former Director of the Locarno Film Festival Irene Bignardi. Another jury member Iranian film-maker Jafar Panahi could not attend the festival as his passport was being held by Iranian authorities.

MFF chairman and veteran filmmaker Shyam Benegal said  the festival attracted about 3,000 visitors and screened over 200 films from 56 countries. MFF's primary sponsor is Reliance Big Entertainment and is organized by Mumbai Academy of Moving Images.
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