‘Bhasmasur’ wins best feature film at the 2nd at Ottawa Film Festival


Ottawa, June 18, 2018 — After five exciting days of celebrations centred around a strong Official Competition of contemporary, independent Indian films, the 2nd edition of the Ottawa Indian Film Festival Awards (OIFFA) came to an end last night with its glamorous Closing Night Gala & Awards, hosted at Ottawa’s Infinity Convention Centre. OIFFA is presented by MeraTango.com.

Masters of Ceremonies Katherine Dines and Gord St. Denis from MAGIC 100.3 led this prestigious evening of exciting dance performances, special presentations and delicious Indian food, which was crowned with the announcement of the winners of the Festival’s OFFICIAL COMPETITION, presented by the three jury members: actor and screenwriter Matt Holland and film critics André Lavoie (Le Devoir) and Marie Claude Mirandette (Ciné-Bulles).

OIFFA has announced that the 2018 award for BEST FEATURE FILM 

went to Nishil Sheth’s BHASMASUR, “for its sensitive, honest depiction of the many different realities of contemporary India, and for the great authenticity of its characters.”

The award for BEST DIRECTOR went to NISHIL SHETH for Bhasmasur, “for his stark, humanistic vision and his assured ability behind the camera.”

The award for BEST PERFORMANCE went to EKAVALI KHANNA for Seeking Happily-Ever-After (Angrezi Mein Kehte Hain), “for her grounded, elegant and moving interpretation of a woman bound by tradition yet questioning the true nature of love.”

The award for BEST SHORT FILM went to SOUND PROOF by Aditya Kelgaonkar, “for its allegorical originality and its impressive command of the mystery and fantasy genres.”

The jury also decided to bestow a SPECIAL MENTION to GARDEN OF DESIRE (AEDAN) by Sanju Surendran, “for its accomplished and poetic artistic direction.”

OIFFA wishes to thank all of its jurors for their hard work and especially all the participating filmmakers for their precious contribution in making this 2nd edition of the Festival a success. OIFFA is looking forward to seeing their next films and welcoming them and their films again in the near future to the National Capital.

Also announced were the winners of OIFFA’s two new activities, launched with great success in 2018.

Congratulations are in order for youngsters NITYA THONDAPU ANAM and AARYAN SHARMA, who each won a $200 cash prize in their respective categories at OIFFA’s 1st family-oriented activity, the BOLLYWOOD POSTER COMPETITION FOR YOUTHS. This activity was judged by two art-world professionals, Pooja Grover, Fine Artist/Mindfulness Practitioner, and Christina Lovisa, Fine Artist/CEO and

Founder of Hello Studios by lovISart. OIFFA thanks all participants in this event.

The guests were also treated to a screening of the winning short film in OIFFA’s 1ST 48-HOUR SHORTFILM CHALLENGE, AMERICAN DREAM, by Brendan Butt. The prize was accompanied by a $2,000 cash prize. The Challenge’s runner-up was LOST AND FOUND by Hingman Leung. She received a $500 second place cash prize. The Challenge was judged by film critics Claire Valade (Panorama-cinéma) and Ottawa’s own Keith Whittier from Ottawa Life Magazine. Both winner and runner-up were first-time filmmakers.

OIFFA congratulates them for their efforts and is looking forward to seeing their next projects, as well as those of the other two filmmakers who took part in the Challenge, Isabel Estabrook and Zahir Khan.

OIFFA took place from June 13 to 17, 2018, in the heart of Ottawa, at the Cineplex Cinemas Lansdowne & VIP as well as in Aberdeen Square across from the Cinemas, where Indian extravaganza OIFFA CITY took

over the square for two exciting nights of performances. The Official Competition included 9 feature films (fiction), 2 documentaries and 5 short films. Over 9 cities or regions of India were represented, from the North to the South of the country, including Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Varanasi and Rajasthan, as well as from the Indian diaspora. In total, the Festival was proud to host 2 world premieres, 7 Canadian premieres and 4 Ottawa premieres, both as part the Official Competition and in two Special Event screenings. No less than 10 fiction and documentary feature films by first-time feature filmmakers were presented, including the winner of Best Feature Film, Bhasmasur.

OIFFA is presented by MeraTango and made possible through the support of its many partners. The Festival wishes to thank all of its sponsors, media partners and community partners for making this 2nd edition of the Festival a success. OIFFA would also like to thank all of its collaborators, suppliers and volunteers for their precious contribution.


OIFFA is the National Capital’s and Eastern Canada’s preeminent festival dedicated to Indian cinema. Now in its second year, the event is dedicated to cultivating an audience for Indian cinema and Indian culture in Ottawa. It showcases Indian films, supports Indian filmmakers and promotes the diverse perspectives of the Indian diaspora.

A five-day competitive showcase of multi-genre Indian films, the Festival hosts a number of participating filmmakers as well as a roster of events, which includes special screenings, contests, a Meet & Greet session and an Indian extravaganza with food, music and dance, hosted in the popular Festival space OIFFA CITY.

For more information, go to oiffa.com.