‘Murga’ wins best film at fest

New Delhi, Oct 2 (IANS) Debutant director Katyayan Shivpuri’s film “Murga” was adjudged the best film at the Swachh Bharat Short Film Festival (SBSFF) and a cash prize of Rs 10 lakh awarded to it here on Sunday.

“I’m super happy, thanks to everyone who helped me make the film. We thought let’s do something that’s not preachy, we wanted to make it fun so, this whole idea of saying sorry and becoming a ‘Murga’ came in,” Shivpuri said in a statement.

Commenting on the prize money, he said: “I’m going to first pay people who worked for free for the film.”

Organised and curated by National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) on behalf of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, the festival is a cinematic presentation of short films of not more than three minutes’ duration, dedicated to the Swachh Bharat Mission initiative.

The festival received 4,346 entries in more than 20 languages from across the country, including Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

The Eastern and Western regions too participated in huge numbers with entries from Assam, West Bengal, Orissa, Gujarat and Maharashtra. There were almost 170 entries from Madhya Pradesh, including 30 from Indore alone.

The entries were received from all age groups including children as young as 10 years. Fourteen-year-old Sidharth Raj’s “The Unsung Heroes of Swachh Bharat Mission” was among the top 20 selected films.

The jury, comprising eminent theatre and film actor-producer Vani Tripathi, award-winning filmmaker Gitanjali Rao and celebrated advertising personality Prahlad Kakkar, selected 20 short films.

“Nanha Doot” by Sudhanshu Sharma, “Chembuku Moodindi (The Dying Vessel)” by K.V. Karuna Kumar, and “Sarkarmi Rati Wadho!” by Akshay Danavale bagged the second prize.

The third prize went to films “Manini” by Praveen Vyas, “Shelfee” by Dr. Suyash Shinde, “Tuka Mhane – says Tuka” by Ashish Sudhir More, “Bakari Shauchalay” by Devendra Shukla, “Sneeringly Lesson” by Satish Kumar Varma and “Mawlynnog – The Cleanest Village in Asia” by Upakul Das.

The winners have been given cash awards of Rs 10 lakh (first film), Rs 5 lakh (three winners of second prize) and Rs 2 lakh (six winners of third prize). All entries have been given certificates of participation.

At the event, the names of five eminent filmmakers Shoojit Sircar, Madhur Bhandarkar, Ramesh Sippy, Prasoon Pandey and Radha Krishna Jagarlamudi were announced to make three-minute films on Swachh Bharat Mission.

Bhandarkar, Pandey and Jagarlamudi were present at the function.

“Watching the films was like a feast. I am happy to attend the festival which aims at promoting Swachh Bharat mission through the powerful medium of cinema,” said Union Information and Broadcasting Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu.

–IANS

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