USA. Virginia: It’s raining awards for author turned filmmaker Ram Kamal Mukherjee. The director who created ripples with his Hindi film Season’s Greetings, a tribute to Rituparno Ghosh early this year, is gearing up for his next release Rickshawala. The film has been selected and awarded at many prestigious festivals and awards, and now Ram Kamal bagged the Best Director International for Rickshawala at Global Film and Music Festival in Virginia. He was nominated along with other filmmakers from France, Iran and Australia.
The virtual award was held on 22nd December in Virginia, which was attended by Asian and American nominees. Ram Kamal’s film Rickshawala left a deep impact amongst international jury members. Lisa A Sales, currently an adviser to the Office of the Secretary of Defense and Chairperson of Women Commissioner in Virginia announced the winner. In her statement Lisa stated that, “A film like Rickshawala by Ram Kamal talks about global issue of unemployment and migrants, it also talks about freedom of sex and equality. In a short span, the director managed to delve deep into many aspects that can be related universally.” A special note from Congressman Gerald E Connolly congratulated the winner for making content that’s global. He said, “I am glad that Indian cinema is creating such deep impact in global platform.”
Tim Kaine from US Senate, Washington DC in his note mentioned that he was extremely proud of the fact that in the middle of Pandemic the Festival Director Seema Sethi managed to put up this wonderful festival. “Some of our jury members were emotionally touched with the narrative. I am glad that we are having such talented independent filmmakers from India who are willing to tell different kinds of stories,” says Seema Sethi, the festival director.
Rickshawala is produced by Aritra Das, Shhailendra Kkumar and Gaurav Daga. The film stars Avinash Dwivedi, Sangita Sinha and Kasturi Chakraborty in the lead. Cinematographer Modhura Palit captured the essence of Kolkata beautifully through her lenses, while Neerajan Saha scored heart touching background score that enriches the narrative.
In his acceptance speech, director Ram Kamal Mukherjee dedicated this award to his team and all the migrants facing issues of unemployment in India. “I am overwhelmed. I can’t believe the amount of adulation this film is getting from audiences and jury members. This was one the toughest film to execute and I am glad that we managed to do it rightly, says Ram Kamal Mukherjee. He feels that being an independent filmmaker, global recognition makes a lot of difference. “Hope producers and studios will take me seriously, as I want to do good content. All I am expecting is a bit of support from our Indian film industry,” he added.
Producer Aritra Das and Gaurav Daga in a joint statement says, “It’s a huge honour for us. Avinash Dwivedi and entire cast gave their hundred percent to make this possible. Of course it was our director Ram Kamal who was the captain of the ship. We have believed in quality product, and we are glad that the film proved us right that if we can make good content then people will watch it.”