A Marathi film, Anandi Gopal, about the life of one of India’s first female physicians Anandi Gopal Joshi, has bagged the National Award in two categories — best feature film on social issues and production design. The film has been directed by Sameer Vidhwans. The 67th National Film Awards were announced on Monday.
A young girl from Kalyan, Anandi Gopal Joshi became one of the first Indian female practitioners of western medicine with the help of her husband Gopalrao. She studied medicine at Women’s Medical College in Pennsylvania.
“A couple of us were watching the telecast on YouTube and got goosebumps when our film was announced. Anandi Gopal has been awarded for not one but two categories: best production design and film on social issues. It was a proud moment. It is a dream for every filmmaker to receive the National Award. I have that dream transpiring into reality,” Vidhwans said.
While actor Bhagyashree Milind played the eponymous role, the character of the husband was played by Lalit Prabhakar. Nilesh Wagh and Sunil Nigwekar did the production design for the film.
Marathi cinema won big at the National Film Awards with Bhimrao Mude’s Bardo receiving two awards for best Marathi film and female playback for singer Savani Ravindra. Jakkal by Vivek Wagh was awarded best investigative film while Tajmal by Niyaz Mujawar won best film on national integration.
Short film, Khisa, directed by Raj Pritam More, which is the story about a young boy from a remote village in Maharashtra who decides to get a large pocket stitched onto his school shirt making it a point of contention among elders, won the best directorial debut.
“This is my first film as a debutant director, and the film has been in the festival circuit for a year or so. Khisa has already bagged two international awards and was recently part of International Film Festival of India (IFFI). During that time, a couple of people believed that the film held the potential to win a National Award,” More said.
“I am currently working on a Hindi film and the award is a hint towards doing something worthwhile in film-making,” he added.
Abhijeet Mohan Warang’s Picasso and Lata Bhagwan Kare, a film on a 65-year-old woman who took part in and won an exclusive marathon, by Naveen Deshaboina were two special-mention Marathi films. “I am very happy as the effort behind the film has paid off. I am a director who has worked in the Telugu industry and, hence, language was a barrier. The film was based in large parts of Baramati farmland. It is a true and natural story,” Deshaboina said.