At International Film Festival of Kerala 2009, today is a quiet day – so far – all in anticipation of the awards announcement this evening. An interesting sight to see jury members in hushed corners debating over decisions and filmmakers wondering about their fortunes… Last year I was there.
2008 December 19th – I was thrilled with the first screening of my film Manjadikuru a day before, and to me that was a milestone in itself – the film was finally SEEN by an audience! It is not something I take for granted.
So attending the awards ceremony on the last day was a mere ritual that marked the end of the festival. Without much of a thought our team chattered along to the function. With the twilight, the lights dimmed and the attention moved onto the stage. The first award announcement was made – somewhere in it was my name. As we heard it, my husband and I just looked at each other blankly. No reactions. On the stage, some words were being read out (the citation!) and we just sat and watched. Finally someone on stage actually asked me to come up and that is when it started to sink in. I ran up in a blur, mumbled something and ran down in the same speed. I had to read the certificate to realise that it was the Best Indian Debut Director Award! And then my big smile came on, and I will admit, so did tears. Back at my seat were the individuals who had stood by me through thick and thin, each one moved to moist-eyed smiles. Even as I write this today, I am overwhelmed. Truly redemptive. So many positives and negatives have been part of this journey and for this moment it seemed worth it.
The next award was the FIPRESCI for the Best Malayalam Film. Once again it was Manjadikuru. Aaah… ecstasy! The first time I had read a FIPRESCI review was in 2001 when my mentor Asif Kapadia won it for “The Warrior”. I continued to read up on FIPRESCI and its reviews with awe through the years. And now our film was on that list 🙂 I cant tell you how much it means to me. Those moments will stay with me forever. The next day was my birthday and this was the best gift I could get!
Today, someone else will be in that moment… and I am very excited for that person. I wish those person/s that peculiar high that makes it worth everything!