February 8, 2003
Karan Johar’s Kabhie Khushi Kabhie Gham (K3G) and Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Devdas hogged the limelight at the recently-concluded 14th Palm Springs Film Festival along with Aparna Sen’s Mr and Mrs Iyer and Rahul Bose’s Everybody Says I’m Fine (ESIF).
While Bose got the International Critics (FIPRESCI) runner-up prize for best debut director for Everbody Says I’M Fine, Mr and Mrs Iyer, K3G, ESIF and Mani Ratnam’s Kannathil Muthamittal were listed among the top 10 films of audience’s choice.
The award for best debutant director, named the John Schleinger Prize after the renowned filmmaker, was given to Nir Bergman for his debut feature Broken Wings. While the audience’s favourite award was won by Scott Hamilton Kennerdy’s Ot: Our Town, Ratnam’s Kannathil Muthamittal ranked third in the audience’s top 10 favourites list. K3G ranked seventh while Mr and Mrs Iyer stood at no. 10.
K3G, Mr and Mrs Iyer, ESIF And Kannathil Muthamittal ‘‘shared the spotlight in the list along with films like Peter Mullan’s The Magdelene Sistersr (Unite Kingdom/Northern Ireland), Eleanor Lindo’s Touching Wild Horses (Canada), Caroline Link’s Nowhere in Africa (Germany), Ksaba Kael’s Bank Ban, Jeff Blitz’s Spellbound (US) and Gil Portes’ Small Voices (Phillipines).
Bhansali’s Devdas, Farhan Akhtar’s Dil Chahta Hai, Swaraaj and The Perfect Husband were also screened at the festival as part of the Indian package. According to Theresa Hayes, who put together the Indian package at the festival, which was held from January 9 to January 20, films from India garnering much success at the festival is a firm indication of a strong future for Indian cinema in the West. The screening of Devdas at the festival also arouses hope of the film’s winning a nomination at the Oscars. For, ever since its inception in 1990, the festival has served as a stage to screen films which eventually go on to win the Oscars.
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