Art & Entertainment

Vinay Shukla’s Documentary ‘While We Watched’ Bags Cinephile Award At Busan Film Fest

Continuing its winning spree, filmmaker Vinay Shukla’s documentary “While We Watched”, featuring news anchor Ravish Kumar, has won the Cinephile Award at the Busan International Film Festival 2022.

Ravish Kumar
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Continuing its winning spree, filmmaker Vinay Shukla’s documentary “While We Watched”, featuring news anchor Ravish Kumar, has won the Cinephile Award at the Busan International Film Festival 2022.

The film, titled “Namaskar! Main Ravish Kumar” in Hindi, had earlier won the Amplify Voices Award at the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).

The Cinephile Award is given to the best Korean and Asian documentary film presented in the Wide Angle documentary showcase section.

The winner is selected by a jury, comprising students from the cinema-related departments of six universities in Busan region.

“While We Watched” is described as a turbulent newsroom drama that intimately chronicles the working days of broadcast journalist Kumar as he navigates a spiralling world of truth and disinformation.

“Through the lens of its protagonist – a man clinging onto integrity even as everything falls apart – ‘While We Watched’ urges the viewer to consider their own responsibility and culpability as news and media come under greater scrutiny than ever before, Vinay’s upcoming film delivers the promise of a bold, timely, and globally relevant documentary,” the official description read.

In a statement, Shukla said he is "overwhelmed" by the win.

"I’d like to thank the Busan International Film Festival, the audiences and the jury. I spent the last four years locked in, working on this film everyday. I had an incredibly dedicated team.

"We wanted to make an immersive cinematic film about the emotional cost of making and consuming news. It was a hard and long process. I moved to the outskirts of Delhi and rented a place there for two years to shoot the film," the filmmaker said.

Amidst the coronavirus pandemic, Shukla said, the team witnessed many ups and downs. At the time, the documentary turned out to be their "truest companion".

"To now know that the film is playing across the world and making new friends is a deeply satisfying feeling.

"This is our second award since our premiere last month. Our screenings in Busan and Toronto ended with spontaneous applause and standing ovations. I’m really grateful. A big thank you to everyone who believed in this film," he added.

“While We Watched” is a UK production and is produced by LONO Studio and BRITDOC Films.

The 27th edition of the Busan International Film Festival concludes on Friday. 

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