Manoj Bajpayee created history at the 44th Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) by becoming the first Indian actor to win the Best Actor award. His outstanding performance in the movie “Joram” was recognized as exceptional, setting a milestone in Indian cinema. This achievement has elevated Indian talent to new heights on the global stage, solidifying his place in the golden books of international cinema.
Established in 1972, DIFF is among the oldest and most respected film festivals worldwide, known for celebrating the diversity and richness of global cinema. This year, DIFF hosted 90 films from 54 countries, reflecting a broad spectrum of cinematic brilliance. Amidst this exceptional array, Joram, directed by Devashish Makhija, won two awards, the coveted Best Actor accolade for Bajpayee and best cinematography for Piyush Putty.
Though Joram awaits its Indian premiere, it has earned nominations in over ten global film festivals. Helmed by Devashish Makhija, Joram presents a gripping narrative of a tribal migrant worker, portrayed by Bajpayee, who is on a desperate flight with his infant daughter from the haunting spectres of his past and the sinister forces seeking his demise. This moving story and Bajpayee’s consummate performance have captivated audiences globally and garnered global acclaim.
However, Bajpayee’s groundbreaking achievement at DIFF is just the cherry on top of an incredible year for this accomplished actor. His performances in Joram and Gulmohar have garnered dual nominations for Best Actor at the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne, marking him as the only actor to be nominated twice in the same category.
Gulmohar, directed by Rahul Chittella, besides fetching four awards and nominations at six international film festivals, has struck a chord with the domestic audience and audiences abroad.
This year Bajpayee’s body of work extends beyond Joram and Gulmohar. His recent OTT hit Sirf Ek Bandaa Kaafi Hai has set new benchmarks in the realm of digital cinema. The film’s appreciation led to public demand for a theatrical release, a testament to his growing popularity and influence.
His international acclaim continues to soar, with Joram and Gulmohar receiving good response at multiple national and international film festivals, including the recent Stuttgart International Film Festival, where Gulmohar was the year’s opening film. It was also recently screened at a special screening held by the Indian Embassy in Berlin and received a resounding ovation from the audience. Given the high demand and the enthusiastic response, the Indian Embassy has scheduled an encore screening next month on the 5th of August.