Emerging artists from India, Australia, South Africa and Chile honored for their visionary projects
BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | February 7, 2012
Sundance Institute and Mahindra have announced the winners of 2012 Sundance Institute | Mahindra Global Filmmaking Award, in recognition and support of emerging independent filmmakers from around the world. The winning directors and projects are: Shonali Bose, Margarita. With A Straw from India; Ariel Kleiman, Partisan from Australia; Etienne Kallos, Vrystaat (Free State) from South Africa; and Dominga Sotomayor, Late To Die Young from Chile.
The awards were presented at a private ceremony at the Sundance Film Festival by Anand Mahindra, Vice Chairman & Managing Director, Mahindra Group; Rohit Khattar, Chairman, Mumbai Mantra, Michelle Satter, Director and Alesia Weston, Associate Director, Sundance Institute.
Anand Mahindra, Vice Chairman and Managing Director of the Mahindra Group, who presented the award to India’s Shonali Bose, said “Our core purpose is to use all our resources to drive positive change in the lives of our stakeholders and communities across the world – to enable them to Rise. The Global Filmmaking Award fits perfectly with this intent. We are delighted to assist the Sundance Institute in its mission of finding new voices in independent filmmaking from around the world.”
“We are grateful to the Mahindra Group for building with us, this multifaceted program, which embraces our joint global commitment to nurturing new storytellers and getting their voices out to the widest possible audiences,” said Sundance Institute President and Founder Robert Redford. “It is particularly exciting to join with Anand Mahindra and his Group to expand this collaboration by bringing Sundance Institute’s renowned Screenwriters Lab program to India in March, to support one of the most extraordinary cultures on the globe,” he added.
Rohit Khattar, Chairman, Mumbai Mantra, said, “We are at an exciting storytelling stage in the history of Independent Cinema in India. With the help of our partners, Sundance Institute, we are keen to recognize, nurture and hone extraordinary talent in India and across the world. We congratulate the four incredible filmmakers who have won the awards this year, and look forward to their next films with great anticipation.”
The Indian award winner Shonali Bose was ecstatic on her win and said, “I am deeply honoured to be the first Indian film maker to receive this prestigious award. To get an award at Sundance is a dream come true! My film, Margarita. With a Straw is indeed a global film rooted in India, and this award will make a huge difference to its life. This is a fantastic initiative taken by the Mahindra Group and Sundance Institute, and will be a wonderful opportunity for so many talented independent filmmakers in our country. It will help India shine on the stage of world class cinema.”
For the selection of the Award for the Indian project, the Global Filmmaking Award Nomination Committee comprised of eminent screenwriters, directors, film critics and film academics. They went through over 20 screenplays and directorial samples of the candidates. After intense debate and deliberation and consultation with the Sundance Institute, Shonali Bose was chosen to receive the award. The Global Filmmaking Award Nomination Committee in India included: Shabana Azmi (Actor, Activist), Shyam Benegal (Filmmaker), Ira Bhaskar (Film Professor), Anupama Chopra (Film Critic), Gautam Ghose (Filmmaker), K. Hariharan (Film Academy Director), Shekhar Kapur (Filmmaker), Anjum Rajabali (Screenwriter, Film Professor) and Ramesh Sippy (Filmmaker).
Each of the four winning filmmakers will receive a cash award of $ 10,000, attendance at the Sundance Film Festival for targeted industry and creative meetings, year-round mentoring from Institute staff and creative advisors, participation in a Feature Film Program Lab, and ongoing creative and strategic support. This marks the first year that one of the four award recipients is an Indian filmmaker – a commitment to fulfill the vision of Mahindra Group and of Sundance Institute to champion a new generation of Indian filmmakers.
The Sundance Institute | Mahindra Global Filmmaking Award is part of a multifaceted collaboration that exemplifies a commitment to and support of world cinema by the Mahindra Group, one of the largest industrial conglomerates in India known throughout the world for its dedication to excellence and to social responsibility, and the nonprofit Sundance Institute, one of the world’s leading cultural organizations.
The partnership, which also includes the establishment of the Mumbai Mantra | Sundance Institute Screenwriters Lab in India, extends over a three-year period. The Lab will provide an annual opportunity for eight Indian screenwriters to develop their works under the guidance of accomplished international screenwriters and directors in an environment that encourages storytelling at the highest level. The first Mumbai Mantra | Sundance Institute Screenwriting Lab shall take place in March 2012 in India.