Art and Experience: Davy Chou’s French-Cambodian coproduction “Diamond Island,” earlier a selection at the Cannes Critics’ Week and winner of the SACD Prize there, has won the Golden Gateway Prize for best film at the international competition at the Mumbai Film Festival that concluded Thursday.
Jury head Miguel Gomes said, “The winner of this award goes to a simple but graceful coming-of-age story. It takes place in a new world, but with old-fashioned emotions: love friendship, family, and, of course, class struggle.”
Speaking to Variety from Cambodia, Chou said, “It’s a huge honor. I love the Mumbai festival as I attended it in 2013 with my previous film, “Golden Slumbers.” I wish I could attend this time also but it just happened to be the same day as the film’s premiere in Cambodia, where the film belongs. It was an immensely satisfying and humbling moment to be able to share this film with Khmer audiences and the Khmer cast and crew, which put so much heart into the project, while also receiving this kind of surprise commendation from far away, at India’s biggest festival led by a jury for whom I have such immense respect. To hear such kind words from Miguel Gomes about the film gives the award an even more special feeling. This is a beautiful moment for the film, and I want to thank the Mumbai festival and the jury for their choice.”
The winner of the Silver Gateway award at the international competition was Ralitza Petrova for “Godless” (Bulgaria/Denmark/France) while the jury grand prize went to “Everything Else” (Mexico) by Natalia Almada.
In the India Gold competition Haobam Paban Kumar received the Golden Gateway Award for “Lady of the Lake” that world premiered at Busan. Satish Babusenan and Santosh Babusenan won the Silver Gateway Award for “The Narrow Path” while the jury grand prize went to Aicheng Jai Dohutia for “The Hidden Corner”.
Alankrita Shrivastava won the Oxfam Award for best film on gender equality for Tokyo selection “Lipstick Under my Burkha”. Konkona Sen Sharma won the best India female filmmaker award for “A Death in the Gunj” that played Toronto and Busan before opening Mumbai this year.