A little film which tells a mighty impressive tale about a particularly mundane aspect of life in India has won the Best Feature Film award at the country’s National Film Awards.
‘Court’, by first-time director Chaitanya Tamhane, bagged the top prize as the full list of winners was unveiled on Tuesday.
Set in Maharashtra, ‘Court’ tells the story of Narayan Kamble, a 65-year-old musician and social activist who is arrested and charged with inciting a day labourer to kill himself after listening to one of Kamble’s songs.
The film premiered at the Venice Film Festival 2014 and was widely praised for the impressive manner in which Tamhane explores the crushing dullness of the judicial process and how it continues to be manipulated for the benefit of the few.
The Best Film honour is the latest in a long list of accolades for ‘Court’ which has already won a number of awards, including at film festivals in Venice, Mumbai, Vienna, Hong Kong, Minsk, Singapore and Moscow.
The other big winner of this year’s Nationals was ‘Haider’, Vishal Bhardwaj’s critically acclaimed, Kashmir-set adaptation of Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’.
The film won honours for dialogue, costume design, choreography, male playback singing as well as its outstanding soundtrack but lost out on the major gongs.
Actress Kangna Ranaut – who had snubbed several of Bollywood’s regular award shows and who had, in turn, been snubbed by organizers who put more store in a star’s appearance at an event – was rightfully honoured for her exceptional turn as a jilted bride from Delhi who decides to spend her honeymoon along in Europe in Vikas Bahl’s ‘Queen’.
“Mary Kom”, a biopic based on India’s eponymous Olympian and five-time women’s boxing world champion, was the only other Bollywood movie on the list of feature film winners taking the award for best popular film.
The awards will be presented at a ceremony later this year.
For the full list of winners and the jury’s comments on each film, click here.
Here’s a look at the international trailer for ‘Court’.