NY Fest

Indian director Ritesh Batra won the ‘Best Director’ award for “Photograph” at the just concluded 19th annual New York Indian Film Festival. (www.iaac.us/nyiff2019 photo)

Acclaimed Indian director Ritesh Batra’s latest offering, “Photograph,” has won him the ‘Best Director’ award at the 19th annual New York Indian Film Festival, where it was also the Centerpiece film.

The film, starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Sanya Malhotra in the lead roles, will be released in the U.S. by Amazon Studios May 17.

“Photograph” tells the story of a struggling Mumbai street photographer, who is pressured to marry by his grandmother and convinces a shy stranger to pose as his fiancée during a family visit. Despite vast cultural differences, the pair develops a surprising connection that challenges their worldviews in a wistful and funny romance.

Rohena Gera’s 99-minute film, “Sir,” which opened the festival, was adjudged the ‘Best Film.’ Starring Vivek Gomber and Tillotama Shome, the film follows the lives of Ratna and Ashwin. Ratna works as a domestic live-in help with Ashwin, a man from a wealthy family.

According to the film’s synopsis, although Ashwin seems to have it all, Ratna can sense that he has given up on his dreams and is somewhat lost… On the other hand, Ratna who seems to have nothing, is full of hope and works determinedly towards her dream. As these two worlds collide and the two individuals connect, the barriers between them seem only more insurmountable.

Adinath Kothare was declared the ‘Best Actor’ for “Paani,” and Shome took home the ‘Best Actress’ award for “Sir.”

Sunny Pawar, known for his work in the 2016 film, “Lion,” won the ‘Best Child’ actor award for “Chhippa.”

The ‘Best Screenplay’ award was given to Roopa Rao for “Baggage.”

Sapna Bhavnani’s “Sindhustan” was awarded the ‘Best Documentary Feature’ award, while the ‘Best Documentary Short’ award went to Roopa Barua’s “Daughters of Polo God.”

“Bebaak” from director Shazia Iqbal won the ‘Best Short (Narrative)’ award.

Chef-turned-filmmaker Vikas Khanna’s “The Last Color” closed the six-day film festival May 12.

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