Rajkumar Hirani’s ‘Sanju’ emerged as the top winner of the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM) this year, bagging four awards, including the best picture and best director.
Actor Ranbir Kapoor was honoured with the Vanguard Award for his phenomenal performance in the film while Vicky Kaushal picked up the award for the best supporting role at the festival.
“I am humbled and honoured to be here and I love Melbourne,” Hirani said.
The gala last night was attended by several Bollywood stars including Rani Mukerji, who won the best female actor award for her film “Hitchki”. Manoj Bajpayee, Simi Grewal, Malaika Arora, Freida Pinto, Richa Chadha, Keerthy Suresh and Ali Faizal were also in attendance.
“This is my first award after being a mother.. this award is kind of special because it raises the awareness on the Tourette’s syndrome,” Rani said.
Bajpayee won the IFFM Best actor award for his film “Gali Guleiyan”, while Rani picked her second award in the category of the Excellence In Cinema.
Chaddha shared the supporting performance award with Kaushal for her film “Love Sonia” that bagged best indie film award this year.
Pinto, 33, was given the diversity award while the Equality In Cinema Award was given to “Mahanati”, the Telugu-language biographical film based on the life of actor Savitri.
“It’s a great responsibility when you are among the few people who represent your people, your country, their stories, their emotions across the world.
Thanking the “Sanju” team, Hirani said, ‘I am humbled and honoured to be here and I love Melbourne.”
Rani also served as the chief guest of the festival and hoisted the tricolour at the iconic Federarion Square building on Saturday to mark the Indian independence celebrations.
“I think it’s a matter of national honour for anyone to hoist their national flag. And the fact that I am doing it in Australia so far away from home is even more special and makes it more patriotic.”