‘Stanley Ka Dabba’ wins at Italian film fest

Yet another small film wins big internationally

Amole Gupte’s heartwarming children’s film Stanley Ka Dabba has been honoured with the ActionAid Jury Prize at Giffoni Film Festival, Italy.The film joins the ever-growing list of small and/or indie projects being recognised, mostly internationally. These might or might not do well commercially, but are being appreciated and applauded for being new and exciting work. Way back in 2002, Vishal Bhardwaj’s debut film Makdee (The Web of the Witch) garnered the second prize at the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival. Shweta Prasad had won the National Film Award for Best Child Artiste for her lead role in the film. I Am Kalam (2010) child actor Harsh Mayar is the latest to win the honour; the film has won a record number of awards, including Best Feature Film by Young Jury at the 41st International Film Festival of India (IFFI), Goa, Best Feature Film at the Lucas International Film Festival (Germany), Don Quixote Prize of the International Cine Club Federations (Germany), Audience Favorite Award at the Barbican London Children’s Film Festival, a Special Diploma for the Best Actor Work at Minsk International Film Festival Listapadzik, the Best Debutant Director Award at the Chalachitra Film Society, Kerala, Special Mention at the Cinekid International Film Festival in Amsterdam and the Ale Kino International Film Festival in Poland for its social message. Remember that in 2009, Smile Pinki created history by bagging an Oscar for Best Short Documentary Feature, putting to shame all the Lagaans and Pahelis. Vishal Bhardwaj’s film The Blue Umbrella (2008) won the Screen Award for Best Actor In A Negative Role for Pankaj Kapur. And recently, Anant Mahadevan’s Marathi biopic Mee Sindhutai Sapkal won the Special Jury Award at the National Awards in India, as well as two awards at the Imagineindia Film Festival in Spain. We hope the win of Stanley Ka Dabba will open many more doors to small films from India, which are not necessarily masala Bollywood fare. Until then, kudos to all involved!