Assamese cinema shines at the 2023 Indian Film Festival of Cincinnati

The landscape of Indian cinema recently converged at the seventh edition of the Indian Film Festival of Cincinnati (IFFCincy), held at the Mariemont Theatre within the Cincinnati Art Museum in the USA. Celebrating the creativity of individuals of Indian origin across various categories, the festival served as a global platform for showcasing remarkable narratives.

Ratee Apana, the festival director, expressed the essence of IFFCincy 2023, stating, “Through a curated selection of films from the Indian diaspora, IFFCincy 2023 celebrated the artistry of creatives who breathed life into compelling narratives, all within the embrace of an incredible and interconnected global community.”

The Assamese film “Footprints on Water” made remarkable strides during the festival, garnering accolades from all three jury panels. Notably, actor Adil Hussain‘s presence was felt in the nominated list with two of his films. Among these, “Max, Min and Meowzaki,” directed by N. Padmakumar, secured the prestigious Grand Jury award for Best Film. Additionally, Adil Hussain himself was honoured with a Grand Jury Award for his outstanding performance in Nathalia Syam’s “Footprints on Water.”

Nathalia Syam, the director of “Footprints on Water,” earned two significant awards: the House of Illusions Award for Best Film by a Woman Director and the Film Critics Circle of India (FCCI) Special Mention for Best Debut Feature Film. The FCCI recognized the film for its use of various cinematic techniques to portray the inner turmoil and suffering of the protagonist.

The House of Illusions, an indie film studio established by advisory board member Christopher Dalton, aims to discover emerging talent and foster the creation of impactful cinema. Dalton highlighted the importance of film festivals as platforms for raising voices against societal injustices.

Ratan Sil Sarma, a member of the House of Illusions jury, praised “Footprints on Water” for its poignant portrayal of the struggles faced by illegal immigrants in the UK. The film’s exploration of the father-daughter relationship, portrayed by Aadil Husain and Nimisha Sajayan, struck a chord with viewers.

Ratnottama Sengupta, another House of Illusions jury member, commended “Footprints on Water” for addressing issues of global concern.

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The festival showcased a range of impressive works, with awards presented in various categories, honouring films like “Max, Min and Meowzaki,” “Call Me Dancer,” “Three of Us,” “Butterscotch,” “Shenanigans,” and more.

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