Drama about the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, wins the best short film award at Venice festival.

Shubhashish Bhutiani’s 20-minute drama about the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, Kush, has won the best short film award at the 70th edition of the world’s oldest, Venice film festival in Italy. It was the only Indian film to have made it to the Orizzonti (Horizons) section dedicated to new trends, which had 30 other films competing for a jury prize, besides best film and short film, at the August 28-September 7 festival.

The Hindi movie is about a lone Sikh boy named Kush in a group of 10-year-old at a school picnic, who is protected by a teacher as riots rage after the assassination of PM Indira Gandhi. Behind the movie, starring Shayaan Sameer as Kush and Sonika Chopra as the teacher, is a real-life inspiration and a 22-year-old Mumbai-born, Mussoorie-bred director, Bhutiani, who made it for graduation at New York’s School of Visual Arts. Bhutiani said the story was of his Class 11 economics teacher.

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