26th Kolkata International Film Festival – Awards 2021

We present the list of winners of the Kolkata International Film Festival, which took place from January 8th – 15th, 2021.

International Competition – Innovation in Moving Images

Best Film

Bandar Band by Manijeh Hekmat – Iran | 2020 – 75 minutes

Manijeh Hekmat’s music-infused twist on a road movie follows a band’s day-long journey across a flooded landscape to Tehran.


Best Director

Artykpai Suiundukov for Shambala – India | 2020

Special Jury Mention

Blindfold (Iz Zavyazanymy Ochyma) by Taras Dron – Ukraine | 2020 – 100 minutes

Young MMA fighter Yuliya has lost her boyfriend in the war in eastern Ukraine. She starts a new relationship to make her life move forward.


Competition On Indian Language’s Films

Best Film

The False Eye (Kalla Nottam) by Rahul Riji Nair – India, Singapore | 2020 – 72 minutes

Two boys steal a Camera kept for surveillance in a store aspiring to make a cinema. But their plans go astray and their attempts to abandon the Camera fails. They end up on wrong side of their actions leading to an irrecoverable loss.


Best Director

Biswajeet Bora for God On The Balcony (Belvony T Bhogawan) – India | 2021 – 88 minutes

The film is set in a remote village of Assam,India. It revolves around Khagen, a farmer, whose wife dies is an incident. He struggles to carry the dead body in his bicycle back home from the hospital due to the unavailability of an ambulance. As he walks through the pebbled roads with the body and his young daughter,he comes across two reporters and as a result, their journey turns to a different battle altogether. – Biswajeet Bora


Best Film

The Salt in Our Waters by Rezwan Shahriar Sumit – Bangladesh, France | 2020 – 106 minutes

Rudro, a well-meaning artist from the city, ventures into a remote coastal village to work on his figurative sculptures. However, he finds his secular values challenged by the village’s religious dictates and social mores, which leads to conflict. Meanwhile, Tuni, the daughter of Rudro’s landlord, falls for him, but their romance is frowned upon. A seafaring people, the villagers’ survival hinges on their seasonal catches, which are in turn subject to the capriciousness of nature. Can one’s god temper an increasingly volatile climate?

Amidst exquisite cinematography framed by open waters, turbulence in the film gradually intensifies as the characters find their respective shores to cling onto. (SGIFF 2020)


Competition on Indian Documentary Films

Best Documentary

Highways of Life by Amar Maibam

Competition on Indian Short Films

Best Short Film

Dusk Ujjal Paul – India | 2020 – 24 minutes

A poetic portrayal of monotony in the life of a sex worker from Sonagachi (Asia’s biggest brothel) which breaks when she goes out with an intimate client, only to realize that she has to go back to the brothel which is her reality now.


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