Sundance-Mahindra award winners announced

24 Jan,2013

By A Correspondent


Sundance Institute and India’s Mahindra Group have announced the four winners of the 2013 Sundance Institute – Mahindra Global Filmmaking Awards, in recognition and support of emerging independent filmmakers from around the world.


The winning directors and projects are: Sarthak Dasgupta, The Music Teacher from India; Jonas Carpignano, A Chjana from Italy-US; Aly Muritiba, The Man Who Killed My Beloved Dead from Brazil; and Vendela Vida and Eva Weber, Let The Northern Lights Erase Your Name from UK-Germany-US.


The awards were presented at a private ceremony at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, USA, by Rohit Khattar, Chairman, Mumbai Mantra, Michelle Satter, Founding Director, Feature Film Program, Sundance Institute, and Paul Federbush, International Director, Feature Film Program, Sundance Institute.


The Sundance Institute – Mahindra Global Filmmaking Awards are 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. This is the third of the three-year collaboration between the two organizations.


“At a time when there is no dearth of issues around the world that are crying out to be heard, the Global Filmmaking award recognizes independent film-makers who give expression to those voices. The Mahindra Group is proud to assist the Sundance Institute in this endeavour, which, in line with the Group’s ‘Rise’ philosophy, aims to drive a positive change in communities across the world,” said Mahindra Group Chairman & Managing Director Anand Mahindra.


“We are grateful to the Mahindra Group for building with us, this multifaceted programme, 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 Robert Redford.


Rohit Khattar, Chairman, Mumbai Mantra, said, “These are exciting times for independent cinema in India and across the world. We feel privileged to help support Sundance Institute in its mission of nurturing and honing emerging talent. We congratulate this year’s four award winners and look forward to hearing much more about their incredible work in the future.”


The Sundance Institute – Mahindra Global Filmmaking Award Nomination Committee for the Indian award winner included Anil Kapoor (Actor), Anjum Rajabali (Screenwriter, Film Professor), K Hariharan (Film Academy Head), Ira Bhaskar (Film Professor), Rajkumar Hirani (Writer-Director), Ramesh Sippy (Director-Producer), Sharmila Tagore (Actor), Shabana Azmi (Actor-Activist) and Shyam Benegal (Director).


The winners of the 2013 Sundance Institute – Mahindra Global Filmmaking Award:


Jonas Carpignano / A Chjana (Italy/US): After leaving his native Burkina Faso in search of a better life, Ayiva makes the perilous journey to Italy; though he finds compatriots along the way, they are unprepared for the intolerance facing immigrants in their newly-claimed home.


Jonas Carpignano is an Italian-American filmmaker currently based in New York City and Rome. While raised and educated in New York, he has spent periods of time in Italy where he began his career working as an assistant director. Since enrolling at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, Carpignano has made several short films that have screened in numerous prestigious festivals throughout the world. Recently, he was awarded the Martin Scorsese Young Filmmaker Award, and his latest short film A Chjàna won the Controcampo Award for Best Short Film at the 68th Venice Film Festival.


Sarthak Dasgupta / The Music Teacher (India): The life of a small town music teacher takes a sharp turn when an estranged ex-student, now a celebrity in the city, comes to visit after several years. The teacher, now lovelorn, prepares to meet her, not knowing if she still bears the same feelings about him as she did those many years back.


Sarthak Dasgupta’s debut feature is the critically acclaimed The Great Indian Butterfly, which screened at several International Film Festivals before its release in 2010. Sarthak holds a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering and a Master’s degree in Business Management.


Aly Muritiba / The Man Who Killed My Beloved Dead (Brazil): After the death of his wife, Paulo mourns her each day by repairing her clothes and tending to the personal belongings she’s left behind. One day, he finds a video tape that will change his life.


Aly Muritiba is a partner at the independent production company, Grafo Audiovisual. As writer-director, he has directed six short films, a tele film and a feature film. His most recent short film, A Fábrica, is a winner of 60 film awards (including Best Live action in CFC World Wide Short Film Festival, Best Short Film in Cartagena das Indias and Honorable Mention in Clermont-Ferrand short film festival). A Fábrica was recently shortlisted for the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short.


Eva Weber / Let The Northern Lights Erase Your Name (UK/Germany): When 28-year-old Clarissa discovers on the eve of her father’s funeral that everything she believed true of her life was a lie, she flees New York and travels to the Arctic Circle to uncover the secrets of her mother who mysteriously vanished many years before.


Originally from Germany, Eva Weber is a London-based filmmaker working in both documentary and fiction. Her multi-award-winning films have screened at numerous international film festivals, such as Sundance, Edinburgh, SXSW, BFI London, and Telluride; and have also been broadcast on UK and international television. Her film, The Solitary Life of Cranes was described as “one of the most absorbing documentaries of the year” by The Observer newspaper in the UK, and selected as one of the top five films of the year by critic Nick Bradshaw in Sight & Sound’s annual film review in 2008. Eva is currently developing a number of feature projects, including the fiction/documentary hybrid ‘Ghost Wives’. She has also been selected to direct the 20-minute fiction film, ‘Field Study’. Funded through the British Film Institute’s shorts scheme, filming is scheduled for late spring 2013.


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