In a rare feat, two of the Indian filmmakers have walked home with the Hollywood International CineFest 2017 awards.
Rakesh Kumar's 'After Ever After' won the Best Feature ( English) category, while BidyutKotoky's 'Rainbow Fields' won the Best Feature (Foreign) category.
The festival, held at AMC Sunset 5, 8000 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles from June 24-25, received over 400 submissions and films from the U.S., the U.K., France, China, South Korea, Cambodia and Hong Kong besides India.
The official selection included World Premieres of 'Easy Money' and the North America Premieres of 'Before The Fall' (Cambodia's entry to 2017 Oscars) & Sam Heughan's 'Emulsion.'
"While very different from each other, there are some striking similarities between ' After Ever After' and ' Rainbow Fields'," said Zack Zublena, Festival Director.
"Both the films have a particular emotional appeal, both have a child as one of the leads and both used colors in a very cinematic way. We are very proud of these two film-makers whose art truly transcends geographical limits," Zublena added.
To decide the winner, the festival looked to the audience and ballots were given out at each film's screening and five audience members per screening were asked to rate the film on a scale of one to ten.
In Rakesh Kumar's debut feature, the protagonist, Nik Patel struggles to cope with the terminal illness of his nine-year-old daughter.
Based on his personal experiences, the film is a story of human endurance against insurmountable odds.
"All human beings are born fighters and true fighters pick up the sword even when defeat is nearly certain," quips Rakesh.