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Vishal bags award at the Cairo Film Fest

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    By: Subhash K. Jha, IndiaFM
    Wednesday, December 20, 2006
    Vishal has just received the prestigious award for 'Best Artistic Contribution in Cinema of a Director' for Omkara at the Cairo International Film Festival.

    Omkara was in competition in the International section with 17 other films from Italy, China, Egypt, Spain, Iran, Hungary... Vishal's film was the only Indian entry.

    Enthuses Vishal, "This award meant the world to me because it's considered more prestigious than the best-director award. And I'm the first Indian to win it. And to top it all, it was given to me by the legendary Omar Sharif."

    Vishal spent almost half an hour on stage with the Lawrence Of Arabia's legendary actor. "He's so old and yet so agile and alive! So full of joie de vivre. He kept talking to me as if he knew my work so well. He told me he had heard about my film. 'You're such a young man and you've made Othello.' To be with an actor of his stature on the stage was a dream-come-true."

    Vishal had earlier gone to Cairo with his children's film Makdee for the children's film festival. "Omkara is along way off from Makdee, just as The Blue Umbrella is a very far removed from Maqbool," grins the director.

    Francis Coppola, Omar Sharif...Vishal seems to be going places. "It's hard to believe Omkara has gone so far. After Maqbool I was sitting idle for eight months. Phir Itna jaldi-jaldi sab kuch hua, I didn't know how Omkara came together," he sighed before leaving for Karachi for the 6th Kara Film Festival where Omkara is being screened.

    At Karachi Omkara was awarded for best adapted screenplay, best music (Vishal) and best actor(Saif).

    Ironically Saif who won the best actor award didn't accompany the director. Instead Ajay Devgan who plays the film's protagonist and producer Kumar Mangat were present to receive Saif's award.

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