Director Sanjeev Gupta wins Gollapudi Srinivas Award for Q

  • Gautaman Bhaskaran, Hindustan Times, Chennai
  • Updated: Aug 12, 2015 12:48 IST
Sanjeev Gupta's debut work Q deals with terrorism and focusses on the finer aspects of human emotions and relationships. (HT Photo)

Sanjeev Gupta's debut work Q has won the 2015 Gollapudi Srinivas Award. A citation and a prize money of Rs 1.5 lakhs will be given to the young director from Agra on Wednesday at Chennai. The honour for a debutant director instituted in memory of Gollapudi Srinivas - who was washed away by a huge tidal wave on August 12, 1992 as he was helming his first film, Prema Pustakam -- is now into its 18th year.

Leslie Carvalho from Bengaluru received the first Gollapudi Srinivas Award in 1998 for his debut work in English, The Out House. In the years that followed, first-time directors like Aamir Khan (for Taare Zameen Par in Hindi), Shyamaprasad (Agnisakshi, Malayalam), Manju Borah (Baibhap, Assamese), Janaki Vishwanathan (Kutty, Tami), Indraganti Mohan Krishna (Grahanam, Telugu), Paresh Mokashi (Harishchandrachi Factory, Marathi), Anusha Rizvi (Peepli Live, Hindi) and Gyan Correa (The Good Road, Gujarati) have been celebrated on August 12 -- Srinivas's death anniversary that has been turned into a day to honour struggling young helmers.

Q stars child astiste Muskaan and Heeba Shah. This year's prize winner, Gupta -- whose Q (which stands for Question) has travelled to several movie festivals, including those at Paris (where it won the Best Film trophy), Sao Paulo and Croatia among others -- told this writer on Wednesday that he first thought of the idea for his film from a newspaper article about terrorism and how children were being used here.

Q is filmmaker Sanjeev Gupta's debut film.

Q focusses on a six-year-old girl brought to Mumbai after being "purchased" for Rs 8,000. She is known as Doll (played by Muskaan) and we see her being housed with a woman (essayed by Heeba Shah, Naseeruddin Shah's daughter) who has her own children, one of them a toddler in the cradle. As days pass by, the woman begins to grow fond of Doll, and as Gupta averred, "Q is all about the finer aspects of human emotions and relationships... My movie questions society. I hope Q will bring about some kind of awareness about terrorism that the world today is grappling with."

Aptly, Q is open ended, and in what seems like a powerful finale, we see the woman across Mumbai's Gateway of India, pausing in her steps, turning around to look at Doll.

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