The song 'Bashonto Eshe Geche' from Chatuskone is still ruling the charts. This spring (read basanto), Srijit Mukherji is sure to have a spring in his step. Mukherji beat Haider filmmaker Vishal Bhardwaj to win the best director award for Chotushkone at the 62nd National Film Awards. Chatuskone, which was one of the biggest box-office hits of 2014, won in two more categories.
Chatuskone also won awards for best cinematography (Sudeep Chatterjee of Chak De! India fame) and screenplay (original) for masterfully telling a taut suspense thriller, which weaves a sinister web around the journey and lives of four egotistical filmmakers.
"I dedicate the award to Ritu da (Rituparno Ghosh) and to the rest of the team who were involved in it. Ritu da (Rituparno Ghosh) was a part and parcel of the team, which made Chatuskone," said the director of Jaatiswar, which had won four National Awards last year. Chatuskone stars Aparna Sen, Parambrata Chatterjee, Chiranjit Chakraborty and Gautam Ghose in pivotal roles.
West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee congratulated the winners and tweeted, "Congratulations to all the winners of 62nd #NationalFilmAwards. So many talented artistes across India and Bengal. Congratulations to all."
It was a family affair for the Gangulys, as husband-wife duo Kaushik and Churni both picked up awards. While Churni's directorial debut Nirbashito won the best Bengali film, Kaushik's Chotoder Chhobi, a tale on midgets, was declared the best film on social issues for its empathetic portrayal of marginalised people and their struggle for a life of dignity.
A still from Chotoder Chhobi
Anirban Sengupta and Dipankar Chaki (who had earlier won the National Award for Shabdo) won the coveted awards for the re-recordist of the final mixed track of Nirbashito.
That's not all. Aditya Vikram Sengupta's film, Asha Jawar Majhe (Labour of Love), won the Indira Gandhi award for best debut film of a director. Sengupta's Asha Jawar Majhe also won the best sound designer trophy (Anish John).
Rana Sarkar, co-producer of Chatuskone, is undoubtedly excited. He took to the social networking site to share his ecstasy. "#Chatuskone @srijitspeaketh congrats great news...best cinematography, best screenplay, nd best director " @sudeepdop," posted Sarkar.
"Srijit is the best director and there is no doubt about it. Finally, he has won it. He is dubbing for a film and we are yet to decide how to celebrate this win," says Sarkar over phone.
When HT City called up Churni, she was elated. "Oh! I am so happy. This is a big day for me. It's even more special because it's a landmark day for freedom of speech with the Supreme Court striking down Section 66A of the IT Act," says the actor-director.
Nirbashito which impressed critics is yet to release at the theatres
Based on the life of the exiled author Taslima Nasreen and her cat Minu, Nirbashito (Banished) has been widely appreciated at various film festivals. Ask Ganguly, if she called up Taslima after hearing the good news, and she says, "Yes and she screamed and screamed. She cried too. She is so happy and I am happy for her. I told her to convey the news to Minu," says the debutante director.
Nirbashito is yet to release at the theatres. Soon, Taslima Nasreen tweeted, "WOW! Nirbashito the film based on me & my cat won the Best Bengali Film award at the 62nd National Film Awards."
Ritwick Chakraborty, who plays the lead role in Sengupta's debut film, Asha Jawar Majhe, which has no dialogues, too sounds excited after hearing the news. He was yet to speak with Sengupta and share the happiness.
"My phone hasn't stopped ringing since the time the awards have been announced. I am yet to call Aditya and share the news. Labour of Love has won so many international awards but winning the National Award is always special," says the Shabdo actor.
Dulal Sarkar, a midget in real life and who plays the lead character in Chotoder Chhobi, heard the news from HT. "Oh! Another award. Ki ar bolbo. Khub bhalo lagche. (What else do I say? I am really happy) Let me call Kaushik da," says Sarkar, who won the best actor award for Chotoder Chobi at International Film Festival of India 2014.
- With PTI inputs