Leena Yadav

Bollywood writer/director Leena Yadav’s film, “Parched,” which traces the journey of four Rajasthani women who begin to break free from century-old traditions, won the inaugural Impact Award at the Stockholm Film Festival Nov. 17. (Leena Yadav/Twitter photo)

Bollywood writer/director Leena Yadav's feminist drama, “Parched,” has won the inaugural Impact Award at the Stockholm Film Festival, as well as a cash grant of 1 million Skr ($120,000) to help finance her upcoming projects, according to a report in Variety.

The prize was announced Nov. 17 by Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, who presided over the jury.

“Through superb acting, giving unique insight into the minds and hearts of women in rural India, told with colorful, sensual cinematography, this film is a paradoxical celebration of life, in spite of tough circumstances, creating both anger and joy, giving fuel for debate as well as hope for change when addressing a burning question that affects, not half, but the whole of our society,” stated the jury, which comprised Swedish theater director Linus Tunstrom and Iranian film director Ida Panahandeh,

“Parched,” starring Radhika Apte, Tannishtha Chatterjee and Surveen Chawla, was written, directed and co-produced by Yadav in conjunction with Ajay Devgn and Brillstein Entertaiment.

The film traces the bittersweet tale of four inhibited women from Rajasthan who want more out of life than what they’ve been handed.

The movie premiered world-wide at the Toronto International Film Festival to warm reviews and marks Yadav’s third directorial outing.

According to another exclusive report in Variety, Yadav is getting ready to make her English-language debut with U.S. producer Susan Cartsonis of “What Women Want.”

The report further states that she was working with her representatives at the Gersh Agency and Cartsonis on a coming-of-age tale centering on three American sisters aged between 25 and 40 who embark on a trip to India.

“I want it to be funny, tender with some romantic bits,” said Yadav. “It will depict a road trip — We often learn so much about ourselves and others during long journeys.”

Yadav began her acclaimed career as an editor, transitioning to directing in 2005 with “Shabd,” starring box office superstar Aishwarya Rai. The film received rave reviews, prompting Yadav to develop “Teen Patti,” starring Amitabh Bachchan and Oscar winner Ben Kingsley.

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