Spanish Oscar Entry, India's 'Village Rockstars' Win Top Mumbai Film Festival Awards

Courtesy of Inicia Films
'Summer 1993'

Carla Simon and Rima Das' wins mean female filmmakers swept the top two awards as the festival also honors Berlin winner 'On Body And Soul.'

The 19th Mumbai Film Festival drew to a close Wednesday with an awards ceremony, in which female filmmakers won the top honors.

Summer 1993 by Carla Simon, which is Spain's Oscar entry in the foreign-language category, got the festival's Golden Gateway award in the international competition, which honors debut films. Summer 1993 earlier this year won the best first feature award at the Berlinale, where it screened in the Generation Kplus section.

The biographical story centers on a 6-year-old girl sent to live with her aunt and uncle after her parents' AIDS-related death at a time when ignorance about the illness dominated society.

In its Berlin review, THR noted that the film "imparts to events a directness and detail that is underpinned throughout by its performances, particularly those of the children."

Jonathan Olshefski's Quest picked up the Silver Gateway award in Mumbai. The documentary, which premiered at Sundance, follows a struggling African-American family over the course of 10 years.

The Wound by John Trengove won the grand jury prize. And Scary Mother by Ana Urushadze received a special jury mention award as did I Am Not a Witch by Rungano Nyoni.

The audience choice award went to Hungarian slaughterhouse love story On Body And Soul by Ildiko Enyedi. The film won the Golden Bear at the Berlin festival this year.

The festival's India Gold section, which honors homegrown films, saw Rima Das' Village Rockstars picking up the Golden Gateway award. Set in India's north eastern state of Assam, the film, which premiered at Toronto, revolves around a young girl who wants to buy a guitar. Village Rockstars also won the Young Critics Choice Award and the best film on gender equality awarded by charitable organization Oxfam India.

The Hungry by Bornila Chatterjee received a special jury mention for the best film on gender equality. The film is an adaptation of William Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus set in contemporary New Delhi.

Machines by Rahul Jain won the Silver Gateway in the India Gold section. The hard-hitting documentary looks at the tough conditions of workers in a textile factory in India's western state of Gujarat. Among its various international awards, Machines picked up a World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award for Excellence in Cinematography at Sundance.

In The Shadows by Dipesh Jain bagged the grand jury prize in the India Gold section while the special jury mention award was shared by S Durga by Sanal Sasidharan and Up, Down and Sideways by Anushka Meenakshi and Ishwar Srikumar.

In the festival's Dimensions Mumbai section, honoring films about India's cinema capital, Anurag Worlikar's Vacancy won the Golden Gateway award.

The Mumbai Film Festival is organized by the Mumbai Academy of Moving Images and its principal sponsor is telecom major Reliance Jio along with Fox's Star India network.

This year's international jury was headed by Shakespeare in Love director John Madden while fellow jurors included Mexican cinematographer Alexis Zabe (Silver Light), Chinese-American actress Celina Jade (Wolf Warriors 2), Indian actress-director Konkona Sensharma (Death in the Gunj) and Argentinian writer-director Santiago Mitre (The Summit).