Dubai : Social drama Pashupati Prasad won the Best Film Award, while Ujjwal Ghimire (Wada No 6) bagged the Best Director Award at the ninth Nefta Film Awards that took place at Al Nasr Leisureland, in Dubai, UAE, on Friday evening.
Meanwhile Namrata Shrestha (Classic) and Dayahang Rai (Kabaddi Kabaddi) walked away with honours for Best Actor (female) and Best Actor (male). Prem Geet won awards under six categories.
The event saw performances by superstar Rajesh Hamal, Karishma Manandhar, Naazir Hussein, Malina Joshi, Shankar BC, Salon Basnet, and Rishta Adhikari, among others.
The event was inaugurated jointly by the crown prince of Ajmal state Seikh Sultan Bin Nasar Al Nuyami and Chairperson of Nefta Pushkar Lama, including Salik Subedi, Rajan Adhikari and Anish Singh Thakuri, representing the organisers.
Shortly afterwards, the performances were kicked off with a belly dance by Layla, from Turkey.
The event was hosted, interchangeably, by Dinesh DC, Jitu Nepal, Deepak Raj Giri, and the duo of Sanchita Luintel and Nikhil Upreti.
Nefta also honoured veteran actors Bashundhara Bhushal, Bhuwan Chand, and Chaitya Devi Singh, with the Nefta Swarnim Samman; while the Lifetime Achievement Award was conferred to Kul Bahadur Mahat and Aananda Bahadur Garmuchhan Magar, “in recognition of their tireless contribution to Nepali film industry, working as cooks.”
Also honoured were the duo Sitaram Kattel (Dhurmus) and Kunjana Ghimire (Suntali), with ‘Prithak Yogdan Award’, for their “selfless service to the nation in the time of crisis”; while ‘Protsahan Samman’ was conferred to Deepa Shree Niraula, director of Chhakka Panja—the film is currently being screened across theatres in UAE.
The award ceremony, thronged by hundreds of Nepali film enthusiasts living in Dubai, also honoured Concept Vision Film Distribution, the organisation which kicked off the regular screening of films in Dubai a couple of months ago.
Concluding the ceremony, chairperson of Nefta thanked the immigrant Nepalis for their “indomitable love and support for Nepali cine industry” and reiterated the need to globalise Nepali film industry; “the very essence of organising the award ceremony overseas is to honour the support shown by cine enthusiasts here who have encouraged us to go a long way in our pursuit to globalise our cine industry.”
Nefta Film Awards is organised jointly by Nepal Film Technicians’ Association, Spectrum Adverising and Concept Vision Film Production and Distributors.