By Arun Fulara
Jury Notes: For the warm and cinematic way in which a middle aged man’s crush on a young man working at a barber’s shop is portrayed. The film allows us to get us a sense of the protagonist’s experience of tenderness, intimacy and sensual pleasure in the beauty and the ordinariness of the moment. The filmmaker does not make the encounter exceptional; instead the filmmaker is able to bring alive on screen the absolute “normality” of love in a short encounter.
By Santosh Ram
Jury Notes: This film is able to bring together in a very simple and evocative way the very broad strands of themes- migratory labour, struggles of first generation school goers. The beauty of the narrative lies not only in the deft manner in which these two themes are brought together but also in the quiet and delicate way it is expressed through the struggles of a young mother. There is an urgent need to connect the dots and this film is able to do so with details that are pithy but stark, while holding onto a very gentle gaze imbued with humour and sensitivity.
By Sudesh Balan
Jury Notes: For the cinematic way in which the loss of an old man and the hopes of a young family are brought together. Separated by different historical trajectories, the two are brought together through the gift of a dead woman’s hands. Although the narrative is very dramatic and was in the danger of becoming melodramatic , the film is able to take us through the narrative with evocative details and cinematic moments.
by Raja Shabir Mohd Khan
Jury Notes: The dominant narrative of Kashmir that we encounter is the political turmoil and its violent impact on the people of Kashmir. The Last Hope explores a narrative about life in Kashmir as it plays out at the edges. The filmmaker chooses to focus on the precarious lives of the Bakkarwals, marginalised within both Jammu and Kashmir. The beautiful but brutal physical condition forms the backdrop for a community trying to hold on to their livelihood while wanting to move beyond it. The filmmaker documents the struggles of a Bakkarwal family over different seasons and this serves as a reminder of the multiple layers of violence and tragedy unfolding in the valley.
By Sonia Filinto
Jury Notes: This film is able to address the tensions between locals and outsiders within the context of Goa through a complex and sensitive understanding of the issues and without pitting the outsider against the local and vice versa. The film evocatively brings this together by following the story of bread through bread makers, bread sellers and the labour involved in making the bread. We would like to make a special mention of the exceptional cinematography of this film.
by Shridhar Sudhir
Jury Notes: The act of walking becomes a compelling act of resistance as the filmmaker performs the religious idea of the tirath yatra and the political act of a padyatra by walking the length of the river Ganga. The filmmaker seeks out the wisdom, experience and understanding of the people who live by and off the river and in the process gives us a critical understanding of the many ways in which the river Ganga is threatened while trying to survive. The film reflects on the religious symbolism of the river in a landscape where our policies and actions are killing the river. The wideness, life, generosity of the river Ganga is vividly captured by the ever moving camera that is unquestionably with the river.
by Maibam Amarjeet Singh
Jury Notes: This film shares the Cinema of Resistance Award for the commitment to documenting the lives of ordinary people to give a deeper understanding of the ways in which broad political policies and actions impacts and shapes the daily struggles of life. The film follows a truck driver through his days and nights of driving across highways with the backdrop of a dramatic and long lasting blockade in the state of Manipur. There is a rigour and sensitivity with which the filmmaker observes the anxieties and vulnerabilities of a man trying to support his family while negotiating difficult circumstances. The film allows the audience to empathise and understand the Manipuri truck driver’s precarious life of labour and longing for his family and home.
by Elroy Pinto
Jury Notes: This film weaves a complex and layered tapestry of art forms held together through the skein of the film medium. A sharply political film in the manner in which it brings the raw, the profane, and the spiritual while exploring the history of a musical form. The film is an unambiguous celebration of film form in its construction built meticulously with a measured pace.
Jury Notes: This film is able to bring together a well defined and deeply thought out aesthetic to explore an abstract idea around transience and materiality. With precise detailing and a pithy structure, the filmmaker takes us on a meditative journey.
by Sanu Kummil
Jury Notes: ദളിത് പിന്നോക്ക വിഭാഗക്കാരായ ഭൂരഹിതർ കാലങ്ങളായി അനുഭവിക്കുന്ന ജീവിതയാതന തികച്ചും സത്യസന്ധ്യമായി പ്രതിപാദിച്ചിരിക്കുന്നു. മാധ്യമ ഉപയോഗത്തിലെ സൂക്ഷ്മതയും മികവ് പുലർത്തുന്നു.
by Sudesh Balan
Jury Notes: മതം, ജാതി, നിറം, ഭാഷ എന്നിവക്കപ്പുറം മനുഷ്യർ തമ്മിലുണ്ടാകുന്ന ആത്മീയതയെ അവയവദാനത്തിന്റെ പശ്ചാത്തലത്തിൽ, സമർത്ഥ മായ ചലച്ചിത്ര ശൈലിയിലൂടെ ആവിഷ്കരിച്ചിരിക്കുന്നു ഈ ചിത്രം.