It is a special day for Chandigarh-based filmmaker Ojaswee Sharma. A day that has finally come after pushing boundaries for more than 10 years. Sharma, whose film ‘Admitted’ won the Special Jury Award in the non-feature film category at the 68th National Film Awards for 2020 announced on Friday, said, “The film may have won multiple awards across the world, but this one is truly special.”
‘Admitted’, which also received the award for best documentary film (above 60 minutes) in the national competition section at the 17th edition of the Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF) for documentaries, short fiction and animation films held recently, is a biographical docudrama on the life of Dhananjay Chauhan — the first transgender student of Panjab University in Chandigarh who has also been instrumental in helping other transgender students get admission in the university.
Sharma, who has around 90 films in different formats to his credit, including ‘The Last Date’, ‘Badalti Soch’, ‘Chaurassi’, ‘Scars – That Remain After 100 Years of Jallianwala Bagh Massacre’, ‘Zubaan’, ‘Kites Beyond Boundaries’, ‘Silver Lining – The Journey of Rashpal Singh’, ‘One Beat’, ‘Art Finds Its Way’ and ‘Sarbat Da Bhala’, among others, said, “Made on a budget of Rs 25 lakh, ‘Admitted’ took eight months to film. It was an unforgettable experience.”
Currently working on two projects, the filmmaker says that he would like to stick to the length that the story justifies.
“And the latest award will exhort more people to watch non-feature films. Not that I do not want to make feature films, just that right now I am happy that our stories and the way we tell them — undiluted and raw — have made a space for themselves.”
–By Sukant Deepak