Filmmaker Shonali Bose wins at Sundance Mahindra Film Festival

Shonali Bose

NEW YORK: Indian filmmaker Shonali Bose and her venture ‘Margarita-With a Straw from India’ is among the four winning directors and projects at the Sundance Film Festival held in picturesque Park City, Utah Jan 19-29.

Sundance Institute and Mahindra announced the winners of the 2012 Sundance Institute | Mahindra Global Filmmaking Award, in recognition and support of emerging independent filmmakers from around the world. The other winning directors and projects are: Etienne Kallos, Vrystaat (Free State) from South Africa; Ariel Kleiman, Partisan from Australia; and Dominga Sotomayor, Late To Die Young from Chile.

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 known throughout the world for its dedication to excellence and to social responsibility, and the nonprofit Sundance Institute, one of the world’s leading cultural organizations.

The partnership, which also includes the establishment of the Mumbai Mantra | Sundance Institute Screenwriters Lab in India, extends over a three-year period. The Lab will provide an opportunity for eight screenwriters from India to develop their works under the guidance of accomplished international screenwriters in an environment that encourages storytelling at the highest level.

“We are grateful to the Mahindra Group for building with us, this multifaceted program, which embraces our joint global commitment to nurturing new storytellers and getting their voices out to the widest possible audiences,” said Sundance Institute President and Founder and Hollywood veteran Robert Redford. “It is particularly exciting to join with Anand Mahindra and his Group to expand this collaboration by bringing Sundance Institute’s renowned Screenwriters Lab program to India in March, to support one of the most extraordinary cultures on the globe,” he added.

“Our core purpose is to use all our resources to drive positive change in the lives of our stakeholders and communities across the world – to enable them to rise,” said Vice Chairman & Managing Director of the Mahindra Group, Anand Mahindra. “The Global Filmmaking Award fits perfectly with this intent. We are delighted to assist Sundance Institute in its mission of finding new voices in independent filmmaking from around the world.”

Each of the four winning filmmakers will receive a cash award of $10,000, attendance at the Sundance Film Festival for targeted industry and creative meetings, year-round mentoring from Institute staff and creative advisors, participation in a Feature Film Program Lab, and ongoing creative and strategic support.

Alesia Weston, Associate Director, Sundance Institute Feature Film Program, International said “We’re thrilled to be working with Mahindra to embrace and support the next scripts of such an exciting group of emerging filmmakers who are telling stories that will resonate for audiences worldwide. The Award and year-round support from the Feature Film Program will go a long way to help these artists find the creative and business resources to get their films made with quality and singular vision.”

Said Rohit Khattar, Chairman, Mumbai Mantra, “We are at an exciting storytelling stage in the history of Independent Cinema in India. With the help of Sundance Institute, we are keen to recognize, nurture and hone extraordinary talent in India and across the world. We congratulate the four incredible filmmakers who have won the awards this year and look forward to their next films with great anticipation.”

Shonali Bose has been an activist all her life. She received an MA in Political Science at Columbia University followed by an MFA in Directing from the UCLA School of Theater Film and Television. As a student at UCLA she received a number of awards: Ely Award for Best Documentary, Wasserman Award, Jack Sauter Award, Hollywood Radio and Television Society International Broadcasting Award, Motion Picture Association of America Award.

Bose’s first feature, Amu, based on the 1984 genocide against Sikhs, won two National Awards (Best Film, Best Director), the FIPRESCI Critics Award amongst ten international awards.

Bose converted the screenplay into a novel which was published by Penguin.

Bose co-wrote and co-produced the feature film Chittagong, directed by her husband Bedo. The film is slated to release in 2012. She currently lives in Delhi.

India Post News Service

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