Indian short film Udedh Bun, directed by Siddharth Sinha, has won the Silver Bear in the 'Shorts Section' of the 58th Berlin International Film Festival.
The 21-minute film without dialogue is about a young boy on the threshold of adolescence and having troubles at home and in his school, who makes a voyage of self-discovery.
It was screened in the 'Berlinale Shorts Section', one of the main official programmes, in which 11 short films, including Three of Us directed by Indian director Umesh Kulkarni vied for the top honours.
A three-member international jury said at the award ceremony last night that the Silver Berlin Bear for short film was awarded to Udedh Bun "for its modern narration" which has a "sharp focus that relies on a harmony between images and sound rather than words."
"We are also sensitive to the new erotica brought to the traditional figure of the desired woman in the history of cinema," the jury said in the citation.
The jury awarded the Golden Berlin Bear to Romanian short film A Good Day for a Swim by Bogdan Mustata.
Siddharth Sinha said he was quite thrilled to receive the award, which he never expected to get.
"It came as a total surprise and I am quite delighted to receive it," a jubilant Sinha told PTI after receiving the honour at the ceremony which was attended by festival director Dieter Kosslick.
"It is excellent to start a film career by receiving such a great international recognition." The award is also a tribute to the work being done by the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) in Pune and its graduates, Sinha said.
Udedh Bun is the graduation work by Sinha, who completed a graduate programme in film direction at the FTII last year. It was made with the financial support of the FTII and the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
Sinha said he was also deeply indebted to the valuable support extended by his mentor and visiting professor at the FTII, renowned Indian director Mani Kaul, in realising this project. Among its cast were some professional actors and actresses as well as students from the FTII.
Udedh Bun is the second film by Sinha, who found interest in filmmaking after taking a graduate degree in psychology from the Delhi University.
Rang Bela, a video production made in 2005 was submitted to the Berlinale for his selection to the Berlinale Talent Campus, the festival's school for the training of young filmmakers, which he attended in 2006.
Rang Bela was also shown at the International Documentary film Festival in Amsterdam. Sinha expressed the hope that the recognition received in Berlin would generate public interest in his film in India and make it possible for the film to reach a large audience. So far, Udeh Bun could be shown only to the students of the FTII.