“Last Film Show” (aka “Chhello Show”), India’s Oscar contender, was this weekend named winner of the Asian World Film Festival in Los Angeles.
The Snow Leopard trophy was presented to Pan Nalin, writer-director, and Dheer Momaya, producer, at the Saban Theater Beverly Hills.
“The best movie encompasses everything we want to see in a great film: good storytelling, moving performances, technically appealing, visually intoxicating and heartfelt connectivity to audiences. We received a line of very good movies this year and it was a tough decision. But this film reminded us of why we loved cinema. It reminded us of cinema’s ability to both enchant and inspire. It is a love letter to cinema to light and to life itself,” said festival jurors Janet Nepales and Pitof Jean-Christophe.
Since its debut in June 2021 at Tribeca Film Festival, the film has been touring festivals for more than a year. The film is now close to a commercial release in America, which could increase its visibility and campaign for a nomination in Best International Feature category. Samuel Goldwyn Films has announced a December 2 release date. It received a commercial release on Oct. 14th, 2022 in Gujarat, India. This was the first of its kind in India.
“This Award comes at right time while we are occupied with the screenings for 95th Academy Awards Oscars,”Momaya. “For one year we have insisted in keeping ‘Last Film Show’ [as an] in theaters-only experience.”
Inspired by director Pan Nalin’s own childhood, the film follows the dreams and aspirations of a nine-year-old boy, Samay (portrayed by Bhavin Rabari), in rural Gujarat. Obsessed with watching movies on the big screen, Samay’s life takes a dramatic turn when his beloved neighbourhood cinema is converted from 35 mm to digital.
Other winners at the Asian World Film Festival included Iranian director Houman Seyedi’s “World War III,”It premiered at Venice’s festival. The film will be next seen at Hainan Island Film Festival. It won a special jury prize and Mohsen Tanabandeh’s best actor prize at the AWFF.
The Snow Leopard award for best actress went to Singapore’s Hong Huifang for “Ajoomma,” He Shuming’s drama about a middle-aged woman obsessed with Korean contemporary culture, which premiered last month in Busan.
Asian World Film Festival 2022: Winners and Honorees
Film of the Year: “The Last Film Show,”Pan Nalin, India (Director)
Best actor: Mohsen Tanabandeh for “World War III” (Iran).
Best actress: Hui Fang Hong for “Ajoomma” (Singapore).
Special jury award “World War III” (Iran)
Audience award: “Aurora’s Sunrise” (Armenia) dir. Inna Sahakyan.
Hollywood Foreign Press Association scholarship award: $5,000 “Warsha” (Lebanon-France) dir. Dania Bdeir.
Panavision $60K grant to best feature cinematography “Kerr”(Turkey) (Andreas Sinanos is the director of photography).
Panavision $15,000 Grant for Best HFPA Short Cinematography “Deer” (Iran) dir. Hadi Babaeifar.
Stars Collective Emerging Filmmaker Award of $2,000 “Burul” (Kyrgyzstan) dir. Adilet Karzhoev.
The Bruce Lee AwardDaniel Wu, actor.
Snow Leopard Award for Outstanding Cinematic Achievement:Park Chan-wook, director, writer, and producer “Decision to Leave.”
Snow Leopard lifetime achievement awardProducer: Albert S. Ruddy
Snow Leopard Rising Star Award: Desmond Chiam is an actor, writer and producer.