In a huge boost to Indian cinema, debutant director Neeraj Ghaywan’s Masaan won the prestigious critics prize in the Un Certain Regard category, which runs parallel to the competition for the main prize, Palme d’Or, at the 68th Cannes Film Festival, the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) announced late on Saturday.
Masaan, a joint production of Manish Mundra, Macassar Productions, Arte France Cinema, Sikhya Entertainment & Phantom Films, stars newcomers like Vicky Kaushal and Shweta Tripathi, along with Sanjay Mishra and Richa Chadda. It received a five-minute standing ovation at the festival where it premiered on May 20.
Hungarian film Son of Saul by László Nemes won the critics prize in Official Competition, and Paulina Paulina won the prize in Parallel Sections, a FIPRESCI release said. Indian film critic Borborah Bitopan from The Assam Tribune was part of the FIPRESCI jury this year.
Masaan’s narrative is set in Varanasi and its characters connected with the Ganga. Ghaywan worked as assistant director to Anurag Kashyap’s Gangs of Wasseypur, which received acclaim at Cannes in 2012, finding new markets for younger film-makers.
— Neeraj Ghaywan (@ghaywan) May 23, 2015
— Aseem Chhabra (@chhabs) May 24, 2015
— Guneet Monga (@guneetm) May 24, 2015
— वरुण (@varungrover) May 23, 2015
— Anna MM Vetticad (@annavetticad) May 23, 2015