South India

'Thangameengal', 'Haridas' win top laurels at CIFF

Tamil films "Thangameengal" and "Haridas" Thursday won the best film and the second-best film awards in the competition section of the 11th Chennai International Film Festival (CIFF).


Tamil films "Thangameengal" and "Haridas" Thursday won the best film and the second-best film awards in the competition section of the 11th Chennai International Film Festival (CIFF).

Thursday's closing ceremony was graced by Bollywood filmmaker Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra.

The eight-day extravaganza concluded after screening 163 films from 58 countries.

Actress-filmmaker Sripriya, director R.V. Udayakumar and writer S. Ramakrishnan constituted the jury.

Filmmaker Ramsubramaniam's "Thangameengal" was lauded by the jury for portraying the sensitive relationship between a father and his daughter with a special focus on primary school education.

The director and the producer J. Satish Kumar received a cash prize of Rs.1 lakh each along with a trophy.

"I dedicate this award to all the fathers who have daughters because only they can understand the pain of the protagonist in the film," Ramsubramaniam said.

"I was touched when some people told me that they changed the school of their children after watching my film."

Ramsubramaniam also played the lead role in the film, which featured child artiste Sadhana in the role of the daughter.

The second-best film was awarded to G.N.R. Kumaravelan's "Haridas", a touching story of a father (Kishore) and his autistic son (Prithviraj Das).

A cash prize of Rs.1 lakh was presented to the director and producer V. Ramadoss.

"The true hero of my film is my producer because it's easy to find someone to fund a project like this. But my producer believed in me and encouraged me to complete the film. He was all along with us through the shooting for 60 days. I dedicate this award to him," Kumaravelan said while receiving the award.

Child actors Sadhana and Prithviraj Das were presented the special mention award for their outstanding performances.

The special jury award was given to actor Atharva Murali for his performance in Tamil period-drama "Paradesi", a story of tea plantation workers in pre-independent India.

This year, CIFF instituted a new award as a tribute to Amitabh Bachchan called "Amitabh Bachchan Youth Icon Award" following his presence at the closing ceremony of the festival last year.

This award along with a cash prize of Rs.1 lakh was presented to composer Anirudh Ravichander, who received the award from chief guest Rakeysh Mehra.

Mehra lauded the efforts of the organisers and said all of them were emotionally involved.

"Looking at the response to the festival, the cheer from the audience I can feel that everyone was emotionally involved in this. I believe audiences invest emotions and get connected with a film. I felt that connection with the audience as well as the organisers of this festival today," Mehra said.

Critically-acclaimed Italian drama "Great Beauty", French romantic-drama "Young and the Beautiful" and Japanese drama "Like Father Like Son" were showcased as part of the fest, along with several award-winning films from international film festivals such as Cannes, Berlin and Venice.

In the Indian panorama section, 17 films such as "Ship of Theseus", "Lucia" and "Sala Budha" were screened.

A special section on documentaries featured Hindi-Tamil "An American in Madras", veteran actor Gemini Ganeshan's Tamil romantic-drama "Kadhal Mannan" and a Tamil documentary on poet K. Subramanyam.

Apart from the films, the organisers this year also held several recreational activities like flash mob dances and musical performances.


Amitabh Bachchan Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra Gemini Ganesh Gemini Ganeshan Prithvi Sankhala Sadhana

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