Indian director wins Sundance-Mahindra filmmaking award

Park City (Utah): Indian director Sarthak Dasgupta and three other directors today won the prestigious 2013 Sundance-Mahindra Global filmmaking award, which supports the emerging independent talent from around the world.

Dasgupta, who has previously written and directed award-winning film 'The Great Indian Butterfly', won the award for his project 'The Music Teacher'.

The other winners are- Jonas Carpignano from Italy-US for 'A Chjana', Brazilian director Aly Muritiba for 'The Man Who Killed My Beloved Dead' and Vendela Vida & Eva Weber for 'Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name' from UK-Germany-US.

Each of the four winning filmmakers will receive a cash award of USD 10,000, attendance at the Sundance Film Festival and creative and strategic support.

This is the second year that one of the four award recipients is Indian. Last year's winner was Shonali Bose for her project 'Margarita, With A Straw'.

The awards were presented at a private ceremony at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah (US) by Rohit Khattar, Chairman, Mumbai Mantra, Michelle Satter, Founding Director, Feature Film Programme, Sundance Institute and Paul Federbush, International Director, Feature Film Programme, Sundance Institute.

"At a time when there is no dearth of issues around the world that are crying out to be heard, the Global Filmmaking award recognises independent filmmakers who give expression to those voices," Anand Mahindra, the Chairman and Managing Director of the Mahindra Group, said in a statement.

"The Mahindra Group is proud to assist the Sundance Institute in this endeavour, which, in line with the Group's 'Rise' philosophy, aims to drive a positive change in communities across the world," he added.

Congratulating the four winners, Mumbai Mantra's Chairman Rohit Khattar said, "These are exciting times for Independent Cinema in India and across the world. We feel privileged to help support Sundance Institute in its mission of nurturing and honing emerging talent."

Veteran Hollywood actor-producer Robert Radford, who is the President and Founder of Sundance Institute, said, "We are grateful to the Mahindra Group for building with us, this multifaceted programme, which embraces our joint global commitment to nurturing new storytellers and getting their voices out to the widest possible audiences."

The Sundance Institute-Mahindra Global Filmmaking Award is part of a multifaceted collaboration that exemplifies a commitment to and support of world cinema by the Mahindra Group, one of the largest industrial conglomerates in India, and the nonprofit Sundance Institute, one of the world's leading cultural organisations.

This is the third of the three-year collaboration between the two organisations.

The nomination committee for the Indian Award winner included prominent names from Indian cinema like Sharmila Tagore, Anil Kapoor, Rajkumar Hirani, Ramesh Sippy, Shabana Azmi, Shyam Benegal, Anjum Rajabali, K Hariharan and Ira Bhaskar.

The Sundance-Mahindra Group's collaboration also includes the Mumbai Mantra Sundance Institute Screenwriters Lab in India, which provides an annual opportunity for eight screenwriters from India to develop their works under the guidance of accomplished international screenwriters.