Rome: Vishal Bhardwaj’s “Haider ” - a modern-day adaptation of “Hamlet" - won the People’s Choice Award in the Mondo Genre (world genre) at the ninth edition of Rome Film Festival here.
“Haider” also had an Italian premiere Oct 24. The film, produced by UTV Motion Pictures and VB Pictures, won the award Saturday.
"It truly affirms our belief that good cinema can transcend boundaries and this award puts ‘Haider’ on the global map,” Amrita Pandey, vice president and head of marketing and distribution - Studios, Disney India, said in a statement.
Out of the seven films like “A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night (US), “Quando Eu Era Vivo/ When I Was Alive” (Brazil) and “La Prochaine Fois Je Viserai Le Coeur/ Next Time I'll Aim For The Heart” (France), which featured under the genre, “Haider” was the only Asian film selected across the globe.
This is for the first time that an Indian film has won the audience award in a non-specialised (non-focused on Asian cinema) wide-ranging international festival.
For Bhardwaj, it is a proud moment.
“‘Haider’ is a classic Shakespearean tale retold with Kashmir in India as its backdrop, it’s a story that we would like to take to the world and to get this award now is a proud moment for the entire team of ‘Haider’,” said Bhardwaj.
Starring Shahid Kapoor, Shraddha Kapoor, Tabu, Kay Kay Menon and Irrfan, the movie saw a worldwide release Oct 2.
The film not only did well at the box office, it also won accolades for Shahid for his matured performance.
The actor considers himself "fortunate" to get a chance to be a part of "this breakthrough movie".
"It was one of the most difficult roles for me and I am ecstatic with the positive reviews and the audience feedback that ‘Haider’ has received.
"It’s a moment of immense pride that the movie has got this award at the festival,” added Shahid, who plays the title role.
In the past, the People’s Choice Award at the Rome Film Festival was won by “Dallas Buyers Club” in 2013 and “The Motel Life” in 2012.