Jhankaar Beats bags award in Houston

HOUSTON: The Pritish Nandy Communication production, Jhankaar Beats has bagged the Special Jury Award for the Best Film at Houston International Film Festival.

The film directed by debutante director Sujoy Ghosh’s and starring Juhi Chawla, Sanjay Suri, Rinke Khanna, Rahul Bose, Shayan Munshi and Riya Sen, is the only Bollywood movie that has won the Special Jury Award this year amongst the independent theatrical feature films.

The WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival is the only one dedicated exclusively to independent features and short films. WorldFest presents awards in 12 major areas of competition, including feature films, documentaries and TV and Cable Production. The Special Jury Award is one of the most prestigious awards at the WorldFest.

All films that win awards are not screened due to time and theatre limitations. However, Jhankaar Beats was shown twice at peak viewing hours, both on April 17 and April 20.

This year’s festival attracted more than 4,500 selected entries, from over 30 countries, to compete for platinum, gold, silver, bronze and Special Jury Awards.

Founded in 1961, the festival is one of the oldest in the US and is credited with spotlighting the likes of Steven Spielberg, Ridley Scott, the Coen Brothers, Robert Rodrigues and Ang Lee.

The festival presented 60 new feature films, and 104 short film premiers. All events were open to the public from April 16-25.

“More than 500 theatrical feature films were reviewed for the 2004 WorldFest, whose theme was “A Good Story, Well Told”, Programme and Artistic Director Kathleen Haney said.

“We are continuing our focus on a quality selection of individual films to maintain a smaller, yet effective programme rather than an overly large and unwieldy slate of 150-300 films.

“In consideration of both our festival audiences and the independent filmmakers, we feel that a solid high-quality programme of no more than 60 features is optimum in a ten-day festival with twelve screening slots (on three theatre screens) per day,” Haney said.