Actor Manoj Bajpayee won the Best Actor Award for the film 'Joram' at the Durban International Film Festival 2023. Directed by Devashish Makhija, the hard-hitting psychological thriller is about a hunted displaced man, who is on the run to protect his daughter. The film, set in Jharkhand, deals with issues such as social inequalities, injustice with the tribal communities and deforestation.
Taking to Instagram, Manoj and production house Zee Studios jointly shared a post and wrote, "#Joram shines bright with the top two awards at the prestigious @durbaninternationalfilmfest with the supremely talented @bajpayee.manoj winning the Best Actor award and @PiyushPuty bagging the Best Cinematography award."
Joram, which has previously travelled to the 52nd International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) and was part of the NFDC’s Film Bazaar, also bagged the award for Best Cinematography.
'Joram' is a survival-thriller about a displaced indigenous man, made in collaboration with Makhijafilm, an independent production house jointly owned by Devashish himself and curator-producer Anupama Bose. The movie also stars Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub Smita Tambe, and Megha Mathur in pivotal roles, as well as Tannishtha Chatterjee and Rajshri Deshpande in special appearances.
Recounting his experience of playing his role in Joram, Manoj Bajpayee earlier said, "The film Joram is a riveting story of a man torn between his past and present. I loved playing the intricate character, Darsu, whose past and present have a significant contrast. On the outside he looks like an ordinary man that people may not even notice, but in no way is he a common man! A brilliant story with such impactful characters! It's always been a pleasure working with Zee Studios & Devashish Makhija. I always remain very proud of my artistically fulfilling relationship with them."
Makhija lauded Bajpayee and the cast of 'Joram' for their power packed performance in the film. "Manoj Bajpayee's performance ensures knots in the chest; as do the powerful performances of the rest of the cast. We are thrilled by all the recognition this film is garnering on the international circuit, and are really excited to be in Competition at the 'Durban International Film Festival," the director said.