Bengali title, Mayurakshi, walked away with the best movie award at the second edition of the Singapore South Asian International Film Festival on Saturday night. A touching story of a father-son relationship with legendary actor and Satyajit Ray favourite Soumitra Chatterjee playing an 80-year-old professor slipping into dementia, and Prasenjit Chatterjee as his son, guilty of having to stay away from his “baba' in America, Mayurakshi was an apt choice for the trophy.
Witten and helmed by Atanu Ghosh (Abby Sen, Ek Phaali Rodh), Mayurakshi scored a double win by clinching the best script award as well.
Miransha Naik took the best director honours with his Konkani-language Juze – an engaging story of a tussle between a thuggish village bully and a 16-year-old teenager, who is bent on going to school and not doing menial jobs.
In a rare departure from the usual norm, the Festival jury voted to give the best actor prize to a young boy, Chandra Kiran – who in Prasanth Vijay's Malayalam drama, The Summer of Miracles, essays nine-year-old Anand. Shaken by the death of his father, Anand uses his vacation to experiment with the concept of invisibility -- assuming in all his wide-eyed wonder and scientific curiosity that the man must have mastered the art of vanishing. Anand's distraught mother learns to live with her son's obsession. An absolute natural, Kiran literally carries the movie with his innocence and restlessness.
The best actress prize went to Nepal's Srijana Subba in Naresh Kumar's Dying Candle for her excellent portrayal of a single woman caring for her little brother and ageing mother, while fending off the unwelcome advances of a rich and arrogant drunk.
Aesthetically shot by Rabin Acharya and Dipankar Sikder, Dying Candle also won the best cinematography trophy. With shots marvellously composed and lighted with imagination, the frames looked magically alluring. The costume colours added to the allure.
Rakesh Rawat's Midnight Delhi – which narrates several incidents unfolding in the darkness of the night in India's capital city and resembles in its violence Quintin Tarantino's style – was adjudged the best edited work.
Mallika Subramaniam's Binodini (the story of a widow who walks into the harmony of a married couple's life) and Children of White (here a pregnant woman worries about the future of the unborn baby) shared the award for the best shorts.