National Science Film Festival Awards 2020 announced

The tenth edition of the National Science Film Festival of India (NSFFI) has come to an end with the announcement of awards under different categories. The chairman of the jury and eminent filmmaker Girish Kasaravalli announced the title of the award winning films.

The festival had entries (Films) invited under four major categories, with two of them being introduced the first time this year.  The four categories include Interface- Films funded by government and non-government institutions/organizations, Fusion- Films category for independent film makers, Out of the Box- Films by media institutions/film schools/universities/college students, and Rainbow- Films category exclusively for films made by school students.

The Golden Beaver Award under the Interface-Films category carrying the prize money of Rs.150000 has been awarded to the film ‘Chalti Kaa Naam Ooshma’, directed by Seema Muralidhara and H.B. Muralidhara.  Bat Woman (The Night Warrior) directed by S. Balamurugan won the Silver Beaver Award carrying a cash reward of Rs. 100000.  Bronze Beaver Award carrying a cash reward of Rs 75000 has been given jointly  to two films, ‘ Decoding Disaster’ directed by Arjun Bhagat and Radhika Chandrasekhar, and ‘Affordable and Point of Need Testing Diagnostic Systems For Healthcare’ directed by Devendra Chopra.

Under the fusion category, ‘The Climate Challenge’ directed by Rakesh Rao won the Golden Beaver Award. Silver Beaver Award was awarded to ‘Return of the Holy Grain’ directed by G.S.Unnikrishnan Nair.  ‘White Tiger Eternal Imprisonment Extinction or Freedom’, directed by Anil Yadav won the Bronze Beaver Award.

Three films were among the award winners under the Out of the Box category. Film ‘Croaking Frogs’, directed by Aditya won the Golden Beaver Award. Silver Beaver Award went to the film titled ‘Ener-G?’, directed by Prince Kumar.  Ponnala Raghavender, Vineetha S. received the Bronze Beaver Award for their film ‘Solution’.

‘Rainbow’ category saw 8 winners walking away with the awards. ‘Aur Ping Pong Badal Gaya’ directed by Khushi Acharya and Dhimahi Acharya, ‘Diffraction’, directed by Ananya Jain, ‘Don’t Shy With Red Spots ’ by Hema Kumari,  ‘Jeevan Diya’ directed by Siddharth Dasgupta and Mansi Modi, ‘No Tomorrow’ directed by Siddh Jain, ‘Our Sun As A Red Giant’ directed by Zaid Darsot, ‘Page (The Story Of Life’s Economy)’ directed by Sagar Kumar and Mayank Soni, and ‘SMOG- See Anyone’ directed by Amit Raj, won the cash prize of Rs 25000 each under this category.

Incredible Tale of a Water Warrior directed by Mahesha received the Jury Special Mention award carrying Rs. 50,000 prize money.  

“This year we have introduced two new categories of awards one is ‘Poonam Chaurasia Memorial Award’ in the memory of Poonam, an extremely talented young cameraperson who left for heavenly abode quite untimely. The award is meant to encourage young female science film makers. The second one is ‘Destination Award’ given to one of the best films from the region where the National Science Film Festival is organized”, said Nimish Kapoor, the convenor, National Science Film Festival of India, Vigyan Prasar. This year, the Poonam Chausaria Memorial Award has been given to the film ‘Sir Fred Hoyle; The Man Ahead of Time’ directed by Suchibrata Borah.

The festival also offers a platform to let science and film enthusiasts freely interact with film-makers, scientists and experts. It is also an opportunity for aspiring science filmmakers to learn the crafts and tricks of the trade, through master classes, workshops and panel discussions. Aside from recognizing and rewarding science films and filmmakers, the festival is intended at creating a better public understanding of the universe; encourage citizen science and public participation, and promote appreciation of science films. The national science film festival 2020 was jointly organized by Vigyan Prasar and the Tripura State Council of Science and Technology, Govt. of Tripura. Amid the prevailing pandemic situation the festival had to be conducted virtually this year.

The tenth edition of National Science Film Festival of India received 372 entries (films) in different languages.  115 shortlisted films selected by the ten-member jury were screened during the festival. These include films in Hindi, English, Urdu, Malayalam, Kashmiri, Bengali, Marathi, Punjabi, and Tamil languages. The festival was earlier scheduled to take place 18-22 March’20 in Agartala. The event had to be postponed due to the unfolding pandemic situation. (India Science Wire)