The docu-drama ‘Admitted’, directed by Chandigarh-based Ojaswwee Sharma, won Best Documentary Film (over 60 minutes) in the National Competition section at the 17th edition of the Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF ) for documentaries, short films, fiction and animation.
‘Admitted’ is a biographical docudrama about the inspiring life of Dhananjay Chauhan, the first transgender student at Panjab University, Chandigarh. The national jury particularly appreciated the strength and bravery of the film’s main character and the way the subject was handled by the filmmaker. The jury was chaired by national award-winning filmmaker Sanjit Narwekar. The other members were Bangladeshi filmmaker Tareq Ahmed, theater artist Jayasree Bhattacharya, Sri Lankan journalist and film critic Ashley Ratnavibhushana and editor Subhash Sehgal.
Ojaswwee has over 80 films to his name including internationally acclaimed films Zubaan, The Last Date, Badalti Soch, Chaurassi, Scars – That Remain After 100 Years of Jallianwala Bagh Massacre, Silver Lining – The Journey of Rashpal Singh, Kites Beyond Boundaries, Art Finds Its Way, Sarbat Da Bhala and One Beat among others.
“It’s huge recognition for the film and the team, and so much love from the audience is heartening. Filmmakers from various countries, students and audiences from all walks of life came and shared how the film made them happy. touched and influenced, which is a real win for our film and Dhananjay Didi who has continuously worked to raise awareness and bring Trans and the entire LGBTQIA+ community into the mainstream and enable them to live with respect,” Sharma said.
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“Today I feel that my 20 year struggle has finally paid off. The film is getting so much love, attention and winning Best Documentary at the very prestigious MIFF is a matter of pride. Ojaswee did justice to the struggle of my life. Admitted has received an enthusiastic response and it is truly a great push for my cause which is the education and upliftment of the transgender community,” Dhananjay said.
The 17th Mumbai International Film Festival, organized by Films Divisions, saw 400 films from around the world. The MIFF 2022 award for Admitted carries a silver conch and a cash prize of Rs 5 lakh to be shared between the director and the producer. Sharma said the cash prize would be shared with Dhananjay and his team at Pinaka Mediaworks, whose enthusiastic and technically sound team helped the film gain recognition.