Other winners included Kamal KM's "I.D." and Shubhashish Bhutiani’s "Kush."The South Asian International Film Festival held its 2013 Gala Awards at the Carlton Hotel in Manhattan Saturday, where Richie Mehta’s Siddharth won the fest's Grand Jury Prize. The drama follows a father as he searches India for his missing son. The film also won the best director award for Mehta. PHOTOS: Indian Talent Going Global “This intense, boundary-pushing art is representative of why we started this festival in the first place," said South Asian International Film Festival founder Shilen Amin. The festival's Jury Prize went to I.D. The film is the feature debut of director Kamal KM. The Short Grand Jury Prize was awarded to Shubhashish Bhutiani’s Kush, which centers on the 1984 assassination of Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and the anti-Sikh violence that came after. “Our 2013 competition winners exemplify the innovative storytelling that’s currently coming out of South Asia,” said program director Galen Rosenthal. “They truly are proof that the independent film scene in South Asia is only growing stronger.” PHOTOS: 10 Hollywood Films Changed for International Release The ceremony marked SAIFF's tenth anniversary. After the awards, the guests enjoyed a private dinner featuring a set from hip-hop artist Jay Sean. The awards ceremony was presented by HBO.
The 54-year-old Tuscan festival got underway a week ago with the Italian premiere of "We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks."FLORENCE, Italy -- The 54th edition of the Festival dei Popoli closed Saturday with the top prize going to Giovanni Cioni's Per Ulisse, a documentary exploring the fringes of Florence. The three-person jury -- made up of U.S. director J.P. Sniadecki, Dutch producer Pieter van Huystee, and Spanish festival director Cinta Peleja -- said Cioni's work, an Italian-French co-production, "transformed unforgettable moments of storytelling into eccentric cinema," saying it showed "the beauty present in every human being." PHOTOS: 10 Hollywood Films Changed for International Release The festival, one of the world's oldest festivals focusing purely on documentaries, which is held at Florence's historic Odeon Cinema, got underway Nov. 30 with the Italian premiere of We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks, directed by Oscar winner Alex Gibney. The festival's special jury prize to Costa da Morte from Spain's Lois Patiño, while 'A Lucata from Switzerland's Michele Pennetta and Chinese documentary The Questioning (Cha Fang) from Zhu Rikun won the medium-length and short-length documentary categories, respectively. Twitter: @EricJLyman
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