This year Indian Film Festival of Melbourne was held online due to the covid-19 pandemic. Indian Film Festival of Melbourne every year honours Indian and subcontinent films, directors, actors, etc with special awards.
On 20 August 2021, the winners of the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne were announced. Pankaj Tripathi who has portrayed various characters over the years honoured with ‘Diversity in Cinema Award’.
Here is a list of winners at Indian Film Festival of Melbourne 2021.
1 Best Director : Anurag Basu for Ludo
2 Best Director (Honorary Mention): Prithvi Konanur for Pinki Elli?
3 Best Performance Male (Feature): Suriya Sivakumar (Soorarai Pottru)
4 Best Performance Male (Series): Manoj Bajpayee (The Family Man 2)
5 Best Performance Female (Feature) – Vidya Balan (Sherni)
6 Best Performance Female (Feature) (Honorary Mention): Nimisha Sajayan (The Great Indian Kitchen)
7 Best Performance Female (Series): Samantha Akkineni (The Family Man 2)
8 Best Film: Soorarai Pottru
9 Best Web Series: Mirzapur Season 2
10 Best Indie Film: Fire in the Mountains
11 Best Documentary: Shut Up Sona
12 Diversity in Cinema Award: Pankaj Tripathi
13 IFFM Disruptor Award: Sanal Sasidharan
14 Equality in Cinema (Short): Sheer Qorma
15 Equality in Cinema (Feature): The Great Indian Kitchen, God on the Balcony
The award function was attended by many celebrities like Anurag Basu, Shoojit Sircar, Thiagarajan Kumararaja, and Sriram Raghavan.
Richa Chadha, Guneet Monga, Onir, Australian filmmaker Geoffrey Wright, and Oscar-nominated editor Jill Bilcock were the prestigious jury member who attended IFFM 2021.
After receiving award Pankaj Tripathi said “This award is special for me, I’m humbled – it’s really inspiring for me, my craft. The man who is here to give me this award. He is the one who discovered my talent. So thanks to Anurag Kashyap sir. He is the one who rediscovered my talent. So I’m grateful to you. I’m grateful to all my directors, writers for having me part of their projects.”
Before Pankaj Tripathi Frieda Pinto, Onir, and Fawad Khan has won the “Diversity in Cinema Award.”
Vidya Balan who won best performance female in feature category said “I’m thrilled to be receiving the award for Sherni which was shot during the pandemic. Thanks to my director Amit Masurkar, my producer Abundantia- who pulled all stops to make this film during these uncertain times.”
Ludo director Anurag Basu who won the best director award said in a statement “Humbling to be part of the nominees and to be winning the best director. Thankful to Netflix and T-Series. My actors were amazing to stand by me. Such amazing people, my crew, my actors. Such a crazy bunch of people. This award shows us that despite all the situation we are in, cinema will continue to be celebrated.”
After the award ceremony, many celebrities from the film industry congratulate the winner on Twitter and Instagram.