Malayalam film wins audience award at German festival

July 21st, 2008 - 8:12 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Kunal Kohli
By Mehru Jaffer
Stuttgart, July 21 (IANS) “Ore Kadal (The Sea Within)”, Shyamaprasad’s Malayalam film on infidelity, won the audience award at Bollywood and Beyond, Germany’s only festival of Indian cinema, that concluded here Sunday. At a midnight ceremony, Shyamaprasad recieved a trophy and cash prize of euros 1,000 from Shobha De, author and celebrity socialite.

“Ore Kadal” beat Manish Acharya’s “Loins of Punjab”, Umesh Kulkarni’s “Valu, The Wild Bull” and Jag Mundhra’s slick, new film “Shoot at Sight” at a festival where 20 feature films were screened over a period of five days including Kunal Kohli’s “Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic”.

The programme included 23 documentaries and 13 short films.

A visibly overwhelmed Shyamaprasad paid tribute to the power of cinema where a film made in Kerala, based on a novel in Bengali, is able to steal hearts at a screening in Germany before an audience from all over Europe.

Congratulating Shyamaprasad, De said that the popularity of “Ore Kadal” is a shining example that more and more people realise that there is much more to Indian cinema than Bollywood and Shah Rukh Khan.

The 60-year-old De was flooded with questions about Shah Rukh Khan when she admitted that she has known the Bollywod heart throb of millions for many years.

“Shah Rukh is one of the most intelligent human beings in Bollywood today,” De replied to questions at an earlier event organised on the fringe of the festival on Gossip in Bollywood.

“Shah Rukh is very smart but he is more charming than sexy,” said De, adding that the only reason why people find her looking so great is because she feels good from the inside.

“If I were to say that it is coconut oil and ayurveda that makes me look good it would be a lie.

“A person looks as good as a person feels,” De told audiences here.

In a very loud whisper De admitted to Shyamaprasad that she would like Mamooty, the protagonist of “Ore Kadal”, to know that she is a fan of the Malyalee hulk.

De was part of an impressive guest list from Bollywood that included filmmakers Kunal Kohli, Umesh Kulkarni, Jag Mundhra, Richie Mehta and Manish Acharya.

Uma d’Cunha, grande dame of cinema journalism and curator of Bollywood and Beyond, was also present. Mehta dedicated the award the film maker won for “Amal”, the best feature film, to d’Cunha who for years has been a great inspiration to independent film makers like himself, the Toronto-born Mehta said.

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