Kunal Kohli made Kangana's day.
Recalling the thrill of winning her first award, Kangana says, "It was Kunal Kohli who informed me about the award...my life's first award and that too in Singapore where I was pitched against three other names."
The nominees for this prestigious award also included Aditi Rao Hydari for her moving portrayal of a vulnerable devdasi in debutant director Sharda Ramanathan's Tamil film Sringaram.
But if transparent vulnerability and a power to strip the soul naked in front of the camera are the favoured flavour of the awards season this year, then Kangana in Gangster is the leader of the bright young pack.
The Asian Festival Of 1st Films acquires a special significance in the light of the fact that films from all over
the world competes for the honours.
The jury members this year who chose Kangana included Hong Kong actress Cecilia Yip, American
writer-producer James Hart, British filmmaker Michael Yorke and India's own Ketan Mehta.
Says Kangana, "I'm swimming in the clouds. This isn't only my first award, it's also an international award. And I'm the first Indian actress award to get it."
Apparently Vishesh Films hadn't entered Gangster in the Festival until filmmaker Kunal Kohli pointed out the keen possibility of Kangana winning the best actress award. Once the film made its way casually to
Singpaore no organization in Mumbai or Singapore was willing to fund the actress' travel to Singapore for the award.
"If that was the case I'd have happily paid for my own ticket to Singpaore. The best actress award at the Asian Festival Of 1st Films was not only a great honour for me personally, but also for our movie industry.
No Indian actress has ever received the award. I'd have been very proud to be there. I guess this is one of those things that wasn't meant to be," sighs Kangana as she prepares to leave for Kuaala Lampur where she'll get the award for best debutante.
One question that remains after Kangana's singular victory at Singapore. Why is Bollywood so reluctant and disorganized in facing up to the requirements of international festivals?
Two months ago
Shirish Kunder's Jaan-e-Mann couldn't make it to a festival in New York on time. And now Kangana fails to make it to Singapore for an honour never given to any actress in Bollywood.
Maybe Bollywood needs to get seriously organized before thinking international.