An elated Rohena says, “I am just so delighted! The audience response was fantastic and that means the world. Winning an award in New York feels really special because I had my first film job in Manhattan at Paramount Pictures and then on the sets of Tony Gerber’s 5-Borough Film side streets. So coming back with a film feels like a full circle.”
She adds, “I am particularly pleased about Tillotama’s award because her portrayal of Ratna brought out the complexities of the situation and script, bringing alive an optimistic and intelligent character who has had a difficult life but rises above her circumstances. It’s wonderful to see a subtle but true performance rewarded!”
The other nominees in the Best Film segment included Kattumuram, Paani, Sa and Shivaranjani and Two Other Women, while those for the Best Actress were Aparna Sen for The Bose Family, Neena Gupta for The Last Color, Rasika Dugal for Hamid and Seema Biswas for Abode.
Tillotama is also on cloud nine and feels honoured to have got the award. “It was so moving to hear how lovingly Mira Nair opened the festival and spoke about us, in a city that I have lived and loved. To be nominated along with greats like Aparna Sen, Seema biswas, Neena Gupta and Rasika Dugal is an insane memory to have for life. For us to win Best Film and Best Actress is completely the cherry atop a very groovy cake. I am very grateful to the jury and the festival. Thank you Rohena for giving me Ratna,” she says.
The Vivek Gomber-Tillotama Shome starrer has had theatrical releases in more than 20 countries such as France, Germany, Switzerland, Hungary, Netherlands and Belgium. It has also had successful screening at the prestigious Cannes Film festival, a Gala premiere at Zurich Film Festival and screenings across the world from the Czech Republic to Melbourne, California and Israel, as well as other festivals in Europe. In fact, the film has also won audience awards at the Festival du Film de Cabourg/ France and Festival World Cinema Amsterdam / Netherlands. Rohena is also the first female filmmaker to have bagged the Gan Foundation Award at Cannes for the film.
The story of the film revolves around an unlikely attraction between a man and his maid servant. It has been produced by Brice Poisson and Gera.