MUMBAI: The Man Beyond the Bridge (Paltadacho Munis) a Konkani language film produced by National Film Development Corporation of India (NFDC) and directed by debutant film maker Laxmikant Shetgaonkar, won the critics’ awards at the Toronto International Film Festival.
The film had been selected by the festival for the Discovery Section, which showcased over 30 films from around the world that were works by new and emerging filmmakers and The Man Beyond the Bridge was selected from amongst these as the Winner of the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) Prize at Toronto, one of the largest and most prestigious international film festivals of the world that generates business annually of $135 million CAD.
The jury citation for Shetgaonkar’s film read, "Far from the sensory overload of India’s big cities, this film explores smaller but enduring dilemmas, drawing together keen environmental sensitivity with a nuanced view of village dynamics." The jury of the festival added, "Director Shetgaonkar, immersed in the culture of the region, tells his tale with grace and attentiveness, taking the village traditions and beliefs seriously, while casting a jaundiced eye on those who exploit them."
NFDC chairman Om Puri said, "The Toronto International Film Festival is a major global platform for all kinds of cinema from around the world and this is an honor for India and for the first-time filmmaker. We hope to see more NFDC films making a mark and winning international awards for artistic excellence."
Director Laxmikant Shetgaonkar added, "I am excited with this honor. The idea is to raise an issue, try to reflect different perspectives and make people think. Though my film is in Konkani, it being showcased at the Toronto festival reinforces my faith that it is all about making a good film, irrespective of which language you make it in."