At Germany's only annual festival celebrating Bollywood cinema in Stuttgart the highest honour went to Santosh Sivan's Hindi film Tahaan, but the cinematographer-filmmaker was unaware of it.
The festival titled Bollywood and Beyond concluded July 19 and Tahaan, about the adventures of a little boy and his pet donkey in Kashmir, won The German Star Of India award.
"It's amazing what an impact the little film made. I didn't hear about Stuttgart until Wednesday because I'm totally out of civilisation," said Sivan, who's busy shooting for Mani Ratnam's Raavan in the interiors of Kerala.
Filmmaker Kunal Kohli, who was the only Indian jury member at the awards, said that the film reminded the viewers of Robert Benigni's Life Is Beautiful.
"There were other top contenders like Neeraj Pandey's A Wednesday, Piyush Jha's Sikandar, Nishikant Kamat's Mumbai Meri Jaan, Umkanth Thumrugoti's 7 Days In Slow Motion and The Damned Rain by Gabricha Paus. All the jury members loved the innocence of Tahaan. It reminded them of Life Is Beautiful," said Kohli.
He also said that the the jury loved all the performances in Tahaan, specially Sarika and the child actor Purav Bhandare.
"Germany has emerged as one of the most powerful and influential market for Bollywood. Do you know, the CD covers of Hindi films released in Germany are in German? We need to take that area more seriously," said Kohli.