|TITLI, directed by Kanu Behl|
The South Asian International Film Festival, presented by HBO, recently announced the winners of its 2014 Gala Awards, held November 23rd at Manhattan’s Carlton Hotel.
Kanu Behl's TITLI took home the festival’s Grand Jury Prize for Best Feature, presented to it by jurors Richard Lorber, Bill Straus, David Wilentz, Isil Bagdadi, and Kelly Edwards. The tale of a young man desperate to escape a brotherhood of carjackers stunned both jurors and audiences at SAIFF. The Jury's highly-acclaimed Runner-Up was Berlin and Mumbai Film Festival selection KILLA.
“KILLA is beautifully cast, right down to the teacher who lords over the children in the classroom. It's a gem of a film," says the South Asian International Film Festival's new Executive Director Joya Dass.
The Best Director Award was presented to first-time writer/director Afia Nathaniel for her film DUKHTAR. The tense drama, Pakistan's official entry to the 2014 Academy Awards, was also presented with the festival's Audience Award.
“From a festival attendance standpoint, Afia Nathaniel's DUKHTAR was the clear winner." says Dass. "We had a sold out house and a roaring response to her directorial debut.”
The jury awarded their Short Grand Jury Prize to Gitanjali Rao's TRUE LOVE STORY, a a stunning animated short about a 17-year-old orphan who uses his love of Bollywood cinema to help him woo the girl of his dreams.
The Audience Award for Short Film was awarded to VEIL from director Sreemoyee Bhattacharya.
The lavish awards ceremony took place at Manhattan’s Carlton Hotel on November 23rd, celebrating SAIFF’s eleventh anniversary. Following the awards ceremony and private dinner, guests and press were treated to a set from recording artist Ashni Davé.
SAIFF 2014 WINNERS:
Grand Jury Winner, Best Feature: TITLI
Grand Jury Runner-Up, Feature: KILLA
Best Director: Afia Nathaniel for DUKHTAR
Grand Jury Winner, Best Short Film: TRUE LOVE STORY
Audience Award, Best Feature: DUKHTAR
Audience Award, Best Short Film: VEIL
The Eleventh Annual South Asian International Film Festival ran from Tuesday, November 18th, 2014 through Sunday, November 23rd, 2014 in New York City, at The SVA Theater and AMC.
For additional information on SAIFF 2014, visit www.saiff.org.