Superstar Shabana-starrer wins prestigious honour in New York ...

By Subhash K. Jha, Indo-Asian News Service

imageMumbai,

April 15 (IANS) Shabana Azmi and awards have almost become

synonymous. So it comes as no surprise that her new film, "Loins Of

Punjab Presents", has won the best feature film honour at the 2007 First

Run Festival in New York.

This unique festival held from April 11-16 honoured 120 first films by

directors from all over the world.

Says Shabana, "'Loins Of Punjab Presents' is a really wacky film about

a beauty contest. The director, Manish Acharya, is in New York to receive

the award.

"Though I did a wacky film recently, 'Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd',

I've never done anything as crazy as 'Loins Of Punjab Presents'... It's quite

a delightful film. I play this wicked socialite Rrita Kapoor (don't miss the

two rrs). Trust me, Manish has talent in the same measure as Farhan

Akhtar."

For those who were wondering about Shabana's chic new short-haired

look at the Filmfare awards last year, she had cut her hair to a very stylish

size for her part in "The Loins..."

"I have a delightful part in the film. I play this flighty socialite," she

chuckles. It's a comedy.

"Manish is a New York University graduate. He can talk for hours

about global cinema and knows every Amitabh Bachchan-starrer and every

Javed Akhtar dialogue by heart."

Shabana has seldom been so excited about a director. "Manish is an

insanely talented filmmaker. Would you believe, he was a hotshot executive

in an American company and was offered obscene amounts of money to

join an Indian company. But he told his wife, 'If I continue doing this I'll

never have the courage to make a film.' She's a very good painter. She

agreed to support him while he went away to NYU and performed very

well there."

"The Loins Of Punjab" fell into Shabana's lap suddenly. "Manish

approached me out of the blue through Ayesha Dharker. I really enjoyed

this film."