Our two National Film Awardees, Manoj Bajpayee and Nawazuddin Siddiqui have again brought laurels to our country when they were honored at the 10th Aisa Pacific Screen Awards, the region’s highest accolade in film, held at Brisbane, Australia last night. While Bajpayee won the Best Performance by an Actor award for his brilliant portrayal of Dr. Siras in “Aligarh”, Nawazuddin was awarded a Special Mention in the same category for his role in Anurag Kashyap’s Raman Raghav 2.0. This was Bajpayee’s second APSA nomination. In 2012, he was nominated for his performance in Anurag Kashyap’s “Gangs of Wasseypur”. Another proud moment for India in the Awards was when a jury grand prize special mention was given to the eight-year-old Sunny Pawar for his portrayal of young Saroo Brierley in Garth Davis'”Lion”.
Hosted by Australian actor David Wenham and presenter Anjali Rao, this was the 10th year of the Asia Pacific Screen Awards, celebrating and promoting cinematic excellence and cultural diversity of the Asia-Pacific region, comprising of 70 countries. The jury of the Awards comprised of eminent personalities like Academy Award-winner Puttnam, a multi-award-winning producer from Hong Kong Nansun Shi, Academy Award-winning Australian producer Jan Chapman and our very own talented filmmaker Shyam Benegal.
A Turkish social drama, “Cold of Kalandar”, won the biggest prize of the evening, the Best Feature film of APSA. The film also won the award in Cinematography category. The film is also selected as Turkey’s official entry for the Academy Awards in the foreign-language film category. 13 Months ago, this film premiered in at the Tokyo festival and impressed the jury there as well. It went on to win the festival’s best film and best directing for prizes for Mustafa Kara. It is the second time hat a Turkish film has taken Asia Pacific Screen Award’s top prize after Greek-Turkish co-production “Beyond the Hill” won in 2012.
Coming back to our National talents, both Manoj Bajpayee and Nawazuddin Siddiqui are the finest actors of the lot we have today. Though both the films Aligarh and Raman Raghav 2.0 may or may not have brought in a lot of audiences to the theatres, these Bollywood films surely have managed to gain appreciation on an international platform. In Cannes this year, Anurag Kashyap and Nawazuddin Siddiqui had received standing ovations for their excellent performance and direction in the film Raman Raghav 2.0.
While the Indian media is busy discussing and covering Aishwarya Rai’s makeup and Sonam Kapoor’s gown at the Red carpet, Manoj Bajpayee and Nawazuddin Siddiqui are bringing laurels to the country in a real sense.