Sonam Kapoor, Nawazuddin bag awards at IFF Melbourne

Sonam Kapoor and Nawazudding Siddhiqui bags top awards at the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne 2016. Sonam received the best actress award for ‘Neerja’ while Nawaz won best actor award for ‘Raman Raghav 2.0’.

Expressing his delight over winning the award, Nawazuddin said “I am thankful for considering me for this award.”

The nominees for the male actors are Ranveer Singh for ‘Bajirao Mastaani’, Shahrukh Khan for ‘Fan’ and Manoj Bajpai for ‘Aligargh’.

Sonam dedicated her award to the Bhanot family.

“I am very lucky to be up here…This is a real story about a women who is only 23 years old. I want to thank Bhanot family specially the mother who passed away… Its a film about compassion more than anything else,” she said.

Rishi Kapoor was honoured with the lifetime achievement award for his contributon to Indian cinema.

Expressing his happiness over receiving the award, Rishi recalled when his father Raj Kapoor thought of casting him as his younger version in ‘Mera Naam Joker’.

“I remember when my father asked my mom…I went to my room and took out a paper and started practising my autographs,” he recalled and added that he came from a family which gave 88 years to the Indian cinema out of 104 years.

“We are very grateful to people like you who have extended our legacy,” he added.

The 63-year-old actor said that hailing from Kapoor family made it easy for him to get into film, it was his hard work that made him continue.

“It is very difficult.I was just not Raj Kapoor’s son I have given lot of blood, sweat and tears to it,” he said.

The star studded gala event that held at the Melbourne Recital Centerer saw special performances by Pakistani singer-songwriter, Sara Haider, Shalmali Kholgade, Suzanne D’Mello, and other notable local performers.

Veteran actresses Simi Grewal, Neetu Singh, filmmaker Anurag Kashyap, Richa Chadha, Indian high commissioner Navdeep Suri, Consul General Manika Jain were also present at the occasion.