Shubhashish Bhutiani's short film “Kush” was awarded The Best Film at the recently concluded 70th Venice Internatioanl film festival which took place August 28 to September 7. It was the only Indian film competing at the fest.
“Kush” is inspired by a true story 21-year old Bhutiani learnt when he was in the 11th grade: In 1984, Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her two Sikh bodyguards, causing anti-Sikh riots to erupt throughout the country. A teacher travelling back from a field trip with her class of 10-year-old students struggles to protect Kush, the only Sikh student in the class, from the growing violence around him.
“Kush” is Bhutiani’s film for his graduation project at New York’s School of Visual Arts, won the Outstanding Film, besides Outstanding Director and Best Editing, at the school’s annual Dusty Film & Animation Festival & Awards held in May.
Previous winners in Venice
Sajyajit Ray’s “Aparajito” (year of winning 1957)
Kedar Sharma’s “ Jaldeep” (year of winning: 1957)
Satyajit Ray’s “Pratidwandi” (year of winning 1971)
Mrinal Sen’s “Chalchitra” (year of winning: 1981)