India’s Swara Bhaskar won the Best Actor Award for her portrayal of a maid desperate to see her daughter join the civil services in Ashwini Iyer Tiwari’s Hindi film, The New Classmate -- which was part of the Second Silk Road International Film Festival that ended here last night.
Bhaskar shot into prominence when she stepped on the screen as Payal in the 2011 rom-com, Tanu Weds Manu. She played the same character and with conviction as the sane voice trying to put some sense into Tanu (Kangana Ranaut) in the sequel, Tanu Weds Manu Returns. Between these two appearances, Bhaskar essayed Bindiya in the romantic drama, Raanjhanaa.
In The New Classmate, Bhaskar was a completely different person, as the maid working for a doctor and trying to move mountains convincing her daughter that she can cross the line.
Among the 14 features that competed for several prizes in the Festival, Gurvinder Singh’s Cannes film, The Fourth Direction, was the only other Indian entry apart from The Classmate.
The Festival’s other big prizes went to Russian, Chinese and Vietnamese movies. The Puppet Syndrome, by Elena Khazanova -- a hauntingly disturbing story of a puppeteer and the doll he creates -- won the Festival’s top prize for the Best Film.
The trophy for the Best Actor went to Hong Kong’s Andy Lau, who portrays a movie star in Ding Sheng’s kidnap adventure, Saving Mr Wu, in Mandarin. Sheng’s work also walked away with a consolation prize.
The other consolation award went to Yellow Flowers on the Green Grass, a bittersweet look at sibling rivalry in the 1980s Vietnam.