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Wednesday, 9 March 2016

HIndie Awards 2016: Best Director in A Regional Film

Best Director in A Regional Film

Why is Regional cinema being touted as the champion, why is it becoming much, much better than Hindi Cinema; the de facto flagship bearer of Indian films?

Because of the visionary at the helm, the visionary and his vision. His grand vision, his powerful vision, his true vision, his profound vision, his simple vision.

Every visionary has his/her vision and these five make bold stamps and statements with theirs.

Here are your nominees for The Best Director in A Regional Film…

Aditya Vikram Sengupta for Asha Jaoar Majhe [Labor of Love]

The director is known as the captain of the ship, yet in Vikram Sengupta's case; he is the whole freaking ship!

The man takes up every role imaginable in the film, short of acting. It unifies the vision of his film and the narrative of his script into a seamless product. Can it also become suffocating and indulgent? Yes.

However credit where credit is due, to Sengupta who never makes the film feel stagnant but gives it a lyrical beauty to grow into a piece of art. He makes the space for his actors explore their performances in their base natures of just expression while also allowing other elements to play; from the cinematography [which he aids in] to the music. It's a true blue but unselfish director's film.

Avinash Arun for Killa

In a year going from strength to strength, Avinash Arun has left a profound statement!

The fact that Kill isn't on the best film list, should not be an indictment on its power to be one of the best films of the year. It is and brilliantly so, because its beating heart makes us understand a child's growing traumas/pains is so true thanks to the efforts of its director.

Arun takes a game cast and crew into a poignant journey that tells of what is actually a very human and at times [if seen in comparison to the world/society at large] selfish [is internalized a better word?] but eventually important phase of our existence, with deft hands.

His handle on his topic is terrific, his mastery of the craft especially painting a beautiful visual canvas is sublime and the performances he is able to extract are truthful. Arun in his breakthrough year is more than just his stellar cinematographer, with this Marathi film; he becomes a complete package and delivers the same.

Chaitanya Tamhane for Court

Has any director as such stepped up in his debut film and created such a storm like Chaitanya Tamhane, that too from a non-Hindi language film?

It's hard to remember. Tamhane reflects the ideals that for a filmmaker, any filmmaker; it's important to observe, understand, analyze and make sense of the world and society around them.

He is a right film maker because he makes the right statement on topics that affect us in the now. True objectivity is hard to attain for a filmmaker yet Tamhane fulfills that; focusing his lens on every character that converges in his film with a dignified and unbiased approach, while letting loose every person under him to play the narrative and its themes and social statements with complete clarity and objectivity.

We call films realistic without maybe truly understanding the point we make, to make it sound like a profound and right film. Court isn't realistic, but real and this is because its director is such. I wait with bated breath to see where Tamhane goes next.

Anup Singh for Qissa: The Tale of A Lonely Ghost

Bringing together his childhood penchant for listening to culturally rooted folk tales, the pains of a people banished from their lands that resonate generation after generation and the complex issues of gender discrimination, identity crises and patriarchy that sadly resonate till today. Anup Singh crafts a film that has heart, mind and soul.

In a film with such deep complexities and notions to ponder on, Singh manages to bring about a technical finesse that paints the film as its own chilling yet painfully true folk tale.

Structuring it as such allows him to give an emotional crux to his narrative, portrayed by his well etched characters and extracted from his performers with some well mastered queues and understandings of the human psyche; specifically the identity crisis that befalls both Umber and Kanwar.

It's a tight ship he reigns in even when the film takes the turn for the supernatural and still feels credible to his vision without diluting the thematic argument he is putting forward. This is a captain with his ship set firmly on course.

S.S. Rajamouli for Baahubali: The Beginning

[Foregoing the atrocity he as the leader of his film commits against Avantika's character-the dubbed Rape-Gate]

In a sea full of rookies, Rajamouli the veteran brings something a bit different and right in his wheelhouse. Fantasy/Mythological Period films are a risk that filmmakers rarely take, not so in the South but even then rarely.

Rajamouli has opened the flood gates; catapulting him right into the stratosphere with his grand idea anointing him a visionary for the ages. A film in the day and age of social media rarely gets to make a statement before naysayers are dissecting it for mistakes or supporters hype it to the point of oversaturation.

Make no mistake, the same did happen with Baahubali. Yet Rajamouli still stands because he builds a myth from ground up with such conviction, finesse and mastery; one cannot help but stand up for applause. It's a phenomenon unlike anyone has ever seen in Indian cinema and at the center of it is one man and his aspirations and dreams.

And the Winner is…

Chaitanya Tamhane for Court!

Each of these men is a winner no matter what in what has been a strong race for cinema around India . The fact that four are debutantes just exemplifies how great Indian cinema is going to get in the near future.

Up Next: Which film picks up the BIG ONE? The HIndie Award for Best Regional Motion Picture!!!

'Nuff Said

Aneesh Raikundalia

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