Films on Thongchi’s novels win Rajat Kamal Award

NEW DELHI. Aug 09: The 66th National Film Awards were announced in a press conference by Feature Film Category chairperson Rahul Rawail, Non-Feature Film Category chairperson AS Kanal, Best Writing on Cinema chairperson Utpal Borpujari here on Friday. The announcement was made after the chairpersons and other jury members earlier submitted their list of awardees to Union Minister Prakash Javadekar.

Of the total 68 awardees, two novels of noted novelist Yeshe Dorjee Thongchi made into films won prestigious Rajat Kamal Award to bag Rs. one lakh each.

Mishing, produced by BB Entertainment Trade Private Limited with Bobby Sarma Baruah as director was selected as Best Sherdukpan Film as it explores the alternate reality of a remote village in Arunachal Pradesh. Bish Kanyar Desh  (In the Land of Poison Women),  produced by Aaas Productions with Manju Borah as director was chosen as Best Pangchenpa Film as the film is a depiction of an individual’s effort to break the myth of ‘poison women’ in a remote part of Arunachal Pradesh.

Interestingly, novelist Thongchi, also Shatiya Akademi Award winner for his Assamese novel Mauna Outh Mukhar Hriday (Silent lips, Murmuring Heart) in 2005, also made guest appearance in the second film.

This is the third novel of the writer to be converted into films to win awards. The first one was Sonam, popular Assamese novel.

The film directed by Ahsan Raju Mazid deals with the folklore of the Monpas, a tribe residing in the high altitude areas of Arunachal Pradesh kissing China. The film was made in the Monpa dialect with local actors. Produced by Ashok Kumar Jhuria under the banner of Garima Mountain Hives in collaboration with a charitable trust Mountain Hive, the movie is about polyandry among Yak Shepherds called Brokpas who inhabit the slopes in the Himalayas where it is customary for a woman to have more than one husband.  The film is all about a man, who accepts the lover of his wife as co-husband. Soon the presence of the second man makes him lonely. Sonam, the wife also suffers from mental and physical disabilities ends her life.

However, Gujarati film Hellaro was declared Best Feature Film winner in 2019 while Badhai Ho bagged the award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment. Hindi movie Padman was declared Best Film on Social Issues, while Kannada film Ondalla Eradalla got Nargis Dutt Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration.

Ayushman Khurana and Vicky Kaushal jointly won Best Actor Award for their performances in Andhadhun and Uri: The Surgical Strike, while Keerthy Suresh was declared winner of Best Actress trophy for her performance in Telugu movie Mahanati. Aditya Dhar won Best Director Award for ‘Uri: The Surgical Strike’. Marathi movie Naal got the Indira Gandhi Award for Best Debut Film of a Director.

The National Film Awards, given annually, is the most prominent film award in India, instituted in 1954 and  administered along with International Film Festival of India and Indian Panorama.

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