Shimit Amin’s Chak De India has won the ‘Best Film Award’ while Akshaye Khanna received the ‘Best Performance Award’ for his sensitive role in Gandhi My Father 5th Australian Indian Film Festival. For starters, Chak De India, which was shot in Australia, is a feel good hockey film shot in Melbourne and Sydney starring 90 Australian hockey players and over 9000 Australian extras. While Akshaye’s role of Harilal (Gandhi’s son) in Gandhi My Father, has been recently been accepted into competition at the Tokyo International Film Festival and also finds itself in competition for Best Screenplay at the inaugural Asia Pacific Screen Awards.
The awards function was held at the Museum of Contemporary Art and was attended by Chak De India’s Shimit Amin, Sagarika Ghatge and Tanya Abrol, and also Gandhi My Father’s team of director Feroz Khan and Akshaye Khanna. Australian film critic, Peter Thompson hosted the ceremony, with the Australian actress Isabel Lucas presenting the Best Performance Award while Ian Chappell, Special Representative, Australia for UNHCR, announced the award for Best Film.
The awards were chosen by a respected group of Australian film critics including Peter Thompson (Showtime), Margaret Pomeranz (ABC TV at the Movies), Nell Schofield (Channel 9 Sunday Show), Marc Fennell (Triple J), Adrienne McKibbons (Metro Magazine) and Ian Taylor (ABC TV).
It is indeed a matter of pride for India that the festival has an advisory board comprising of advisory board comprising of Ronnie Screwvala (UTV Group), Sanjeev Kohli (Yash Raj Films), Simi Garewal and Natalie Miller (Sharmill Films), and Yash Chopra as the festival’s patron.