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RANG DE BASANTI Wins Top Award At Indian Film Honors



Tuesday, June 12------RANG DE BASANTI, a politically charged epic set in the 1920s, was the big winner at the International Indian Film Academy Awards, Bollywood's answer to the Oscars, held on Saturday night. The awards, voted on by fans, were handed out in front of an audience of 12,000 enthusiastic fans at Hallam Auditorium in the city of Sheffield, in the North of England. The cream of the Indian film industry gathered for an evening-long pagaent of Bollywood stars, musical performances and film honors. The Awards travel each year to a different city that has a significant Indian population. Last year's ceremony was held in Dubai.

REG DE BASANTI tells the story of a group of disillusioned Indian youths who become nationalist freedom fighters united against British rule, and of a British filmmaker who tries to tell their story. The film picked up five awards, including Best Picture, Best Musical Direction and a nod to British actress Alice Patten as Best Supporting Actress.

Rani Mukherji was named Best Actress for KABHI ALVIDA NAA KEHNA, a highly charged melodrama about marital infidelity. Hrithik Roshan picked up Best Actor honors for his portrayal of a superhero in KRRISH. Veteran director Rajkumar Hirani won the Best Director prize for his helming of the musical comedy LAGE RAHO MUNNABHAI. Fellow director Vishal Bhardwaj was given a special honor for Best Adaptation for OMKARA, a Bollywood version on Shakespeare's classic tragedy OTHELLO.

The ceremonies are telecast and reach a global audience of over 500 million in 100 countries, rivalling the Academy Awards as one of the most watched events of the entire year. This demonstrates the rising interest in Bollywood all over the world.

Sandy Mandelberger, Awards Watch Editor

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