German Star of India for Director Prateek Vats Feature Film Award for Satire ‘Eeb Allay Ooo!’
Stuttgart – The satire ‘Eeb Allay Ooo!’ by Prateek Vats has been awarded with the German Star of India in the Feature Film category of the 17th Indian Film Festival Stuttgart on Saturday. The coveted film award comes with 4,000 EUR in prize money. The trophy for the Best Short Film along with 1,000 EUR prize money went to Indian star producer Shaan Vyas for his directing debut ‘Natkhat- The Brat’ with Bollywood screen favourite Vidya P. Balan. The ‘Director’s Vision Award’ which also comes with 1,000 EUR was won by the love story ‘Kumbalangi Nights’ by Madhu C. Narayanan. No documentary prize was awarded this year. ‘Uyare’ by Manu Ashokan won the Audience Award in the amount of 1,000 EUR.
Due to the corona pandemics, Europe’s largest festival of Indian film had to replace the Festival cinema with a digital one. “With the online edition we can reach a bigger audience, which gladly makes use of our pre-produced supporting programme, too”, so an initial assessment by Festival Director Oliver Mahn.
All films were viewed a total of 5,800 times; consequently, each holder of the 500 festival passes sold watched an average of eleven films. On the festival homepage 45,000 sessions were registered. The users came from 54 countries, with Mumbai in India and Stuttgart and Frankfurt in Germany in the top positions.
Director Parteek Vats impressed the three jury members with his authentic feature film ‘Eeb Allay Ooo’ about India’s holy monkeys: “The cast is remarkably natural and credible. It adds to the film’s authenticity that it was filmed at real-life locations with a minimum of crew, integrating the documentary style of film shooting”.
According to the jury, ‘Natkhat – The Brat’ by Shaan Vyas, winner of the Short Film category, brilliantly deals with how gender stereotypes develop in the mind of a young boy growing up in a patriarchal society. “While it explores complex issues such as domestic abuse in a highly realistic way, it also beautifully pictures the very tender, yet strong relationship between an oppressed mother and her son whom she tries to raise differently”, so the jury states and continues, that the film’s unique narrative style brings to life its poetic power, complemented by authentic acting and excellent editing.
There is also a shorts special mention to Atanu Mukherjees ‘Wig’: “Setting side by side the marginalization of an unmarried woman with that of a transsexual sex worker, this film manages to address a familiar topic in a new, subtle and thought-provoking way. The film’s excellent stylistic choices underscore its important message”.
The Director’s Vision Award goes to Madhu C. Narayanan for helming what makes ‘Kumbalangi Nights’ a brilliant debut, one that assembles a sophisticated script and elevated, focused performances portraying dysfunctional characters who find redemption through the power of love. ‘Kumbalangi Nights’ is spectacular at every level: perfectly orchestrated, multilayered storytelling alongside highly-rated natural acting in an Indian film and a sensitive score that blends with the stunning background of Kerala’s backwaters.