A night of glitz and glam

2013-09-09 00:00

THE big winners at the inaugural South Africa India Film and Television Awards (Saifta) were Darrell Roodt’s drama Little One, and Barfi!, an Indian romantic comedy-drama film directed, written and co-produced by Anurag Basu.

Barfi! was rewarded with the prizes for film of the year, best actor for Ranbir Kapoor and best actress for Priyanka Chopra at the ceremony held in the ICC in Durban on Friday.

Basu missed out on the directing prize, however. It went to Abhishek Kapoor for Kai Po Che!.

Barfi! tells the story of Murphy “Barfi” Johnson (Kapoor), a mute and deaf man from Darjeeling, and his relationship with two women, Shruti Ghosh (Ileana D’Cruz), and Jhilmil Chatterjee (Chopra), who is autistic.

The critically acclaimed film, which was lauded for its positive portrayal of physically disabled people, went on to gross $28 million (around R280 million) worldwide.

Chopra — who accepted her award just minutes after she dazzled the audience with a dance number choreographed by Geeta Kapoor, which included the song Deva Shree Ganesha — paid tribute to all those involved in making Barfi! and to her father, Dr Ashok Chopra, who lost a prolonged battle with cancer in July this year. “This is for you, daddy,” she said.

Little One, Roodt’s gripping story of a six-year-old girl named Vuyelwa, who is raped, beaten and left for dead in a field near a township in Johannesburg, won three awards: best director, best actor for Muthodi Nesheshe and best actress for Lindiwe Ndlovu.

Accepting the awards for himself, his co-star and director, Nesheshe urged people to see this “very moving” locally-made film, in which the little girl’s life is saved and she is then cared for by a compassionate woman called Pauline.

The prize for the South African film of the year went to Katinka Heyns’s Die Wonderwerker.

Sidharth Malhotra won the prize for Indian debut actor of the year (male) for his role in Karan Johar’s hugely popular film Student of the Year.

Accepting his award, he told the Durban fans: “This is my first international award and the credit goes to a lot of people including Karan Johar and my parents, who gave me my genetics … And thank you for making this memorable … I will remember this.”

Minutes later, the Bollywood heartthrob had his female fans screaming for joy when he performed songs from the film on the stage and then climbed onto a metal platform covered in hearts and did an aerial routine as heart-shaped balloons fell from above.

SABC2 soapie 7de Laan was named the best South African TV show and accepting the award, Vinette Ebrahim, who plays Charmaine Meintjies, said they were stunned to win, especially given that they were competing against Isidingo, Isibaya, Binneland and Crimes Uncovered. “We’re really proud — thank you so much to Saifta,” she added.

Robert Whitehead, who plays Barker Haines in Isidingo, won for best TV actor. He told the audience that he had always dreamed of working in Bollywood, adding: “I haven’t made it there yet, but it’s wonderful to be here … thank you for this honour.”

In addition to the many awards given out on the night, guests got to see Ranveer Singh’s energetic Geeta Kapoor dance routine, which paid tribute to 100 years of Hindi cinema.

The number, which started with his “flying” above the audience in a harness, featured 42 Durban dancers, who had 10 days to learn the six routines created for the Saifta.

India’s “dancing diva” Madhuri Dixit’s performance was another highlight. It included a number of her hit songs and her latest chartbuster Ghaghra.

Guests also got to see fashion created by Durban’s Haroun Hansrot and Indian designers Alpa & Reena; two outstanding performances by the Durban Gospel Choir; and comedy from Eastern Mosaic’s Aunty Rhumba (aka Jailoshini Naidoo), Mickey Virus star Manish Paul and Durban actor Aaron McIlroy.

Among the many celebrities at the event were: veteran playwright and chairperson of the KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission Welcome Msomi; actress and radio personality Leleti Khumalo; actress Waheeda Rehman; producer Mukesh Bhatt; actress and producer Dia Mirza; film producer and former model John Abraham; writer-director Sanjay Gupta; Isidingo stars Jack Devnarain, Maurice Paige, Leandra Reddy and Ashish Gangarpersad; 7de Laan’s Donnalee Roberts; former Miss South Africa Tatum Keshwar; and Simba Mhere from Top Billing.

Full list of Winners of 2013 SAIFTA Awards

Indian awards

Film of the year: Barfi!

Director of the year: Abhishek Kapoor (Kai Po Che!)

Actor of the year (male): Ranbir Kapoor (Barfi!)

Actor of the year (female): Priyanka Chopra (Barfi!)

Supporting actor of the year (male): Nawazuddin Siddiqui (Gangs of Wasseypur)

Supporting actor of the year (female): Rani Mukherji (Talaash) and Divya Dutta (Special 26)

Debut actor of the year (male): Sidharth Malhotra (Student of the Year)

Debut actor of the year (female): Huma Qureshi (Gangs of Wasseypur)

Popular song of the year: Tum hi ho (Aashiqui 2)

Best television serial (India): Pavitra Rishta

Lead television actor (male): Ankit Gera

Lead television actor (female): Kratika Sengar

South African awards

Film of the year: Die Wonderwerker

Actor of the year: Muthodi Nesheshe (Little One)

Actress of the year: Lindiwe Ndlovu (Little One)

Director of the year: Darrell Roodt (Little One)

TV show of the year: 7de Laan

TV actor of the year: Robert Whitehead (Isidingo)

TV actress of the year: Baby Cele (Zabalaza).

Special awards (SA)

Madiba Award: Nelson Mandela

Contribution to fashion: Dr Precious Motsepe

Contribution to SA cinema: Anant Singh

Contribution to distribution of SA cinema: AB Moosa (senior)

Best lifestyle show: Eastern Mosaic

Best actuality show: Carte Blanche

SA youth icon: John Abraham

Best documentary: Searching for Sugarman

Special awards (India)

Contribution to fashion: Manish Malhotra.

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