Bollywood actor and dancer Avinash Dwivedi has won Best Actor award for his first Bengali film Rickshawala, directed by Ram Kamal Mukherjee in Ayodhya International Film Festival in Lucknow on Wednesday. “Rickshawala is very close to my heart not only because I have won the award but it is one of the finest projects, which portrays the dying culture of Kolkata – city of joy. I have played the role of a rickshaw puller and got to know closely about their life and day-to-day struggle to keep alive the traditional vehicle of Kolkata. And I’m so blessed to be a part of this project. I’m thankful to my director Ram Kamal Mukherjee for choosing me to play this character” says elated Avinash. He has also bagged the Screen Best Actor Award for his Bhojpuri cinema ‘Nachaniya.’
Ram Kamal Mukherjee says, ” Avinash is one of the finest human beings who has not only trusted my vision but gave his blood and sweat for the character. I am happy to introduce him as an actor in mainstream Indian cinema. I think he truly deserves all the awards and accolades for Rickshawala.” Mukherjee has directed his first film Cakewalk with Esha Deol Takthani, then his second film Seasons Greetings: A Tribute To Rituparno Ghosh with Celina Jaitly and Lillette Dubey. This is his fourth film.
Being a Kolkata boy, Mukherjee has closely seen the rickshaw pullers and their lives. “I used to wonder how these people who are thin, carry people by pulling rickshaw in the busy streets of Kolkata and the by-lanes. Later, I watched Do Bigha Zameen and City Of Joy; I was blown away by how the directors portrayed their characters. It is a small tribute from my side to this dying culture of Kolkata”.
Producer Aritra Das says, “This film will always remain special for me as a producer because this is my first project in my mother tongue. Secondly, I saw a true actor in Avinash, who has played the title role in our film. In my small carrier span as a producer, I have never come across an actor like Avinash who was so dedicated towards his character and worked with us like a team member without giving any tantrums or starry attitude. He worked in scorching heat and rains for almost a week without any basic facilities, which any actor would ask for. Today when he won the best actor award, I felt happy that his hard work got recognised. I am also happy for Ram Kamal Mukherjee, who won the best director award for Rickshawala. This journey wouldn’t have been possible without my co-producer Gaurav Daga who went out of his way to ensure we face no issues while making this film.”
Gaurav Daga, excited and thrilled about the recognition, which Rickshawala got, says, “I am extremely happy and delighted to know that Rickshawala won not just one but two awards at this prestigious Ayodhya International Film Festival. Avinash Dwivedi is one of the finest actors and human beings I have ever met and the way he has supported us throughout is just beyond imagination. I am truly blessed to be a part of this project. I always have faith In Ram, who is the captain of the ship, as I have seen him working on this project and how he made his actors comfortable on set.”
Rickshawala is a story about the dying culture of Kolkata and also a tribute to Bimoa Roy’s Do Bigha Zameen and Roland Joffe’s City Of Joy.