January 26, 2021

66th National Film Awards: Bunkar- The Last of the Varanasi Weavers won Best Film

The 66th National Film Awards were officially announced on Friday 09 August 2019 by the Jury members. Among a list of deserving films, there is the compelling story of the handlooms Banaras through the film Bunkar – The Last of the Varanasi Weavers directed by Satyaprakash Upadhyay. The film has won Best Film (Arts and Culture).

The film had been previously selected in the Indian Panorama at IFFI 2018 and also bagged the Best Debut Director (Documentary) at the Jaipur International Film Festival (JIFF 2019). Director Satyaprakash who has a decade long experience in the Indian film industry and has worked on various feature film sets has made his directorial debut in the documentary space with Bunkar. His motivations for entering the documentary space was his long standing attraction towards realism in cinema.

“Since what I know is how to make films, I chose to use that as a medium to spread awareness about the Bunkars of Varanasi.   This art of handloom weaving belongs to all of us. It is every Indian’s legacy, and so the responsibility to safeguard it, is also equally everyone’s.  Like it is said in the film too, art needs society, as much as society needs its art, and I have complete faith that anyone who hears their story, will feel as compelled as I did, to play their part in helping them.  If this film can make its viewer a more sensitized handloom consumer, I would have achieved my objective.”

Satyaprakash has also branched out as co-founder of Narrative Pictures, a Mumbai based film production company and has taken on the role of Producer and Director for various projects under the banner. In his pursuit to continue to make cinema that can fuel change in society, he is currently working on the script of his upcoming fiction feature film titled ‘Koopmandook’.

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