The 21st New York Indian Film Festival (NYIFF), one of the most-prominent festival of Indian cinema globally, has unveiled its awards nominations list with films like ‘Fire In the Mountains’ (Hindi), ‘Sthalpuran’ (Marathi) and ‘Nasir’ (Tamil) leading the pack.

To be held virtually during June 4-13 because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will be hosted on the website and will make some films available for viewing in India as well.

The films that are in the running for the best film award in the prestigious NYIFF are ‘Fire in the Mountains’, ‘June’, ‘Nasir’, ‘Pinki Eli?’ and ‘Sthalpuran’, while directors Ajit Pal Singh (‘Fire In the Mountains’), Akshay Indikar (‘Sthalpuran’), Arun Karthik (‘Nasir’), Krishna Kt Borah (‘Boroxun/Songs of Rain’ in Assamese) and Suman Mukhopadhaya (‘Nazarband’ in Hindi) have received nominations for the best director award.

The best screenplay nominees are ‘Biryaani’, ‘Mail’, ‘Pinki Eli?’, ‘Chicken Curry/Koli Taal’ and ‘Uljhan’, while Deep Jyoti Kalita (‘Songs of Rain’), Harish Khanna (‘God on the Balcony’), Siddharth Menon (‘June’), Tanmay Dhanania (‘Nazarband’) and Vikas Kumar (‘Uljhan’) have got the best actor nominations.

In the running for the best actress award at NYIFF are Akshatha Pandavapura (‘Pinki Eli?’), Ashwini Giri (‘Awakash’), Indira Tiwari (‘Nazarband’), Kani Kusruti (‘Biryaani’) and Vinamrata Rai (‘Fire in the Mountains’), and for the best child actor award are Aman S Karkera (‘Blue Bird’), Karan Dave (‘Habaddi’), Neel Deshmukh (‘Sthalpuran’), Porinandhi Jima Sultana (‘God On the Balcony’) and Rudraksh Jaiswal (‘The Tenant’).

Presented by the Indo-American Arts Council, Inc. (IAAC), and powered by MovieSaints, the festival this year will feature 58 screenings – 23 narrative features, eight documentary features and 27 short films.

“Last year, we had to reimagine the film festival in a virtual format and it involved pivoting to an online platform. We emerged stronger with a larger footprint as global audiences engaged with the films,” said Suman Gollamudi, IAAC executive director, in a statement.

“This year, with the pandemic creating even more distress, we feel a greater responsibility to provide filmmakers an outlet to showcase their work. Plus, offer audiences hope through cinematic stories that give meaning, form and shape to lift our emotions,” Gollamudi added.

Aseem Chhabra, NYIFF director, said: “This year, we will feature films in 15 languages spoken in India: Assamese, Bengali, English, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu.  All films will have English subtitles.”

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About Utpal Borpujari


Utpal Borpujari is a National Film Award winning filmmaker and film critic. He won national award for his debut feature film 'Ishu'.


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