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Indians sweep Commonwealth awards

By A Correspondent
November 29, 2004 10:58 IST
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Bollywood may not have made its presence felt at the Oscars, but Indian documentary filmmakers are firmly leaving their footprints on the world stage.

India's Neeraj Bhasin and Rupalli Mehraa won the first and second prize respectively in the 2004 Commonwealth Vision Awards.

The filmmakers received their awards on Friday at ceremony held at the Royal Commonwealth Society in London, attended by a host of guests from the world of diplomacy, politics and the media.

Presenting the awards was Guest of Honour, former BBC broadcaster and politician, Martin Bell OBE. Also present was Commonwealth Secretary-General, H E Rt. Hon Don McKinnon.

Along with Rupalli Mehraa, Timothy Senaviratne and Vandana Sood of Sri Lanka and India respectively received the Highly Commended Award.

After the ceremony, Rupalli Mehraa, who works with the television news channel NDTV, said, "I am honoured to win this award. To me it is a step towards achieving my goal of making television features and documentaries. My film Education for All … All for Education is on a theme that is very close to my heart. I feel the ones who have had the privilege of education should contribute in spreading it."

Elspeth Duncan of Trinidad and Tobago and Australian filmmaker Christine Saunders were each awarded the Commended prize. The eight other short-listed entries came from Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Pakistan, Jamaica, the United Kingdom and Fiji Islands.

Commenting on the awards, the Commonwealth secretary-general said, "The Commonwealth Vision Awards show how the power of images can create opportunities and expand horizons for young people throughout the Commonwealth."

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A Correspondent