Rani Mukerji, Manoj Bajpayee win big at IIFM 2018

Melbourne: Manoj Bajpayee and Rani Mukerji bagged the Best Actor and Best Actress awards at Indian Film Festival of Melbourne, 2018. Baypayee won award for his yet to release Hindi psychological drama, ‘Gali Guleiyan’, while Rani earned the accolade for her role in the film ‘Hichki’.

Describing his character in ‘Gali Guleiyan’ as a complex one, Manoj said, “It is a fantastic feeling to win the award for the best actor at the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne. It is even more satisfying when you know that so many other films across genres and so many actors who have all done such a great job, were in competition.” ‘Gali Guleiyan’ also earned a special jury mention in the Best Indie Film category and is also set to release on 7 September worldwide.

The other nominees in the Best Actor category included Akshay Kumar (Padman), Ranbir Kapoor (Sanju), Ranveer Singh, Shahid Kapoor (Padmavat) and Varun Dhawan (October).

On bagging the Best Actress award Rani said, “Indian Film Festival of Melbourne has always welcomed the best of Indian cinema and celebrated our form of storytelling. I feel very proud and thankful that Hichki has been accepted and loved by audiences here. It’s a story with universal resonance, and its spirit of positivity has won over Indians and locals here.”

The actress, who returned to the big screen with Yash Raj Film’s ‘Hichki’ after 4 long years, played the role of a passionate and hard-working teacher who suffers from Tourette Syndrome. Her character inspired positive changes in school students from economically backward families.

Rani is one of the few Bollywood actresses who have successfully embraced sensitive issues through exceptional films like ‘Black’ and ‘Hichki’, owing to which she was also honoured with the ‘Excellence in Cinema’ award.
Filmmaker Tabrez Noorani’s ‘Love Sonia’ took home two awards, the Best Indie Film and the Best Supporting Performance for actress Richa Chadha.

Director Tabrez Noorani said, “Love Sonia is an important film, not only for me, but also for the inspiring cast and crew that gave this movie their all. To have this recognized by the IFFM means a lot.” The film revolves around the story of a 17-year-old girl who risks her life to rescue her sister from sex trade and was shot in India, Hong Kong, and Los Angeles. The hard-hitting film will relase in India this September.

The theme of IFFM this year was ‘Inclusion’. IFFM had a renowned panel of jury including, Andrew Anastasios, Jill Bilcock, Geoffrey Wright, Nikkhil Advani, Rajeev Masand, Simi Garewal, Sue Maslin. (ANI)