Singapore: Indian Drama 'Court' Wins Best Feature at Silver Screen Awards

Court Still - H 2014
Courtesy of Golden Orange Film Festival, Antalya

Court Still - H 2014

First-timer Chaitanya Tamhane also won best director for the film

Indian drama Court, by first-time director Chaitanya Tamhane, won best film at the Singapore International Film Festival's Silver Screen Awards Saturday night. Tamhane also took best director.

“This glittering gem dazzles with its simplicity, elegance and breathtaking naturalism," said the festival's feature competition jury, led by Chinese auteur Wang Xiaoshuai. "Every facet of this film shines, from the humanity of its screenplay, to the originality of its structure, to the assuredness of its direction. A brilliant achievement.”

With a plot that unfolds according to the procedures and prejudices of the Indian justice system, Court follows the case of a Dalit folk singer who is tried for abetting the suicide of a laborer with the lyrics of one of his songs. The film earlier won the top prize in Venice's Orizzonti section.

Indonesian actress Sekar Sari won the festival's best performance prize for her turn as a Javanese woman who's forced to turn to disreputable work in a karaoke bar in order to support her paralyzed husband, mother-in-law and young son.

South Korean director Park Jung-bum's gritty working-class survival story, Alive, meanwhile, received fest's "special mention" prize.

"Passion and conviction are very much alive in actor-director Park Jung-bum’s ode to human stoicism," said the jury citation for Alive. "Despite a run time of almost three hours, this film carries us along with its craft and dedication.” ?

A total of 11 films competed in the Silver Screen Awards' Asian feature competition.

Among the film-world notables walking the red carpet in Singapore Saturday night were German actress Natassja Kinski, Taiwanese actor Chen Bolin, Hong Kong actress Cheng Pei Pei, Marine Vacth, as well as local award-winning director Anthony Chen.

The Singapore International Film Festival returned after a two-year hiatus this year to celebrate its 25th anniversary. It ran Dec. 4-14.