Chaitanya Tamhane's directorial, The Disciple, has won the prestigious FIPRESCI award at the 2020 Venice Film Festival. The last Indian film to win the prestigious prize at Venice was Adoor Gopalakrishnan's Mathilukal in 1990.
Tamhane says the win is a special honour. "I want to thank the FIPRESCI and its jury members from the bottom of my heart for their continued support for our work. This is a very special honour for us given that the jury for this award comprises film critics and journalists from around the world. We are all quite thrilled and excited with this fantastic start to the journey of The Disciple," the filmmaker said.
The Marathi-language film had its premiere at Venice last week. It is the first Indian film to make the cut since Mira Nair's Monsoon Wedding in 2001, which had won Golden Lion, the highest prize at the festival. The Disciple is set in contemporary Mumbai and follows an Indian classical music vocalist who, after years of diligent training and tradition, begins to wonder whether it is really possible to achieve the excellence he strives for.
"It's an incredible honour to be the first Indian film after thirty years to win this prestigious award at Venice. FIPRESCI's faith in our work has been a great source of encouragement over the years," said producer Vivek Gomber.
The award, presented by The International Federation of Film Critics (in French, Federation Internationale de la Presse CInematographique, or FIPRESCI), aims to promote and develop film culture as well as safeguard professional interests. The organisation was formed in Brussels, Belgium in 1930, with professional film critics and film journalists from around the world as members. At present, it has members in more than 50 countries worldwide. In the recent past, works of Abbas Kiarostami, Paul Thomas Anderson, Joshua Oppenheimer and George Clooney have been awarded the FIPRESCI Award.