The lead protagonist of Shoib Nikash Shah’s film Oxygen won the most prestigious award of Kaleidoscope 2019. We are talking about actress Namita Lal, who won the Best Actress Award at the Indian Film Festival in Boston this year.
No denying the fact, it was the first-ever world screening of the film which went houseful and its Q&A session also went for more than an hour. As per the close friends and family of the team who attended the world premiere at Boston, the audience liked the theme and the overall performance. They enthusiastically participated in the discussion post screening.
Actress Namita Lal was very pleased and honoured to receive this huge title. She is currently busy in lot of other projects so could not attend the screening and award ceremony. She was in Singapore when she received the news. Expressing her excitement, she says, “I had absolutely no idea that I could win this Award since we sent the film to Boston at the last minute.”
While talking about the film, she says, “The film was shot in a rare location, which was the forest area of J&K near the Line of Control (LoC) and being the only woman in the unit and also, a non-localite of the place, nevertheless it was challenging to put up in that area as the film had a lot of local people and children, who were familiar to the region, but I am very thankful to the director and the team, who made me comfortable to the environment. It was an amazing experience to shoot with the locals and the passion & hard work with which the team shot is now paying off.”
Throwing light on her role in the film, actress Namita Lal says, “I feel honoured and blessed to be recognized by one of America’s biggest and the most prestigious film festivals. This is my debut film in the lead role, which was a difficult one since it was a bit controversial as I challenge the main protagonist on his claim to integrity and honesty and persuade him to think otherwise. I did not imagine I would be appreciated and awarded for it. It was indeed beyond my expectations.”
The film festival was attended by Namita Lal’s close friends Pradeep Mansukhani and Rashmi Mansukhani, on her behalf. Talking about the Q&A discussion, they said, “We thank for the privilege Namita Lal gave us to represent her and team Oxygen at the World Premiere. The film succeeded in conveying to its audience the dilemma faced by millions of people across the world, that is, the issue of the environment that will affect future generations versus the plight of the present generation.” They added, “The Amazon fire, the Indonesian fire and other deforestation methods were discussed by the audience in the light of what was ‘really’ depicted in the film and on top of that, Namita Lal’s acting was the icing on the cake!”
When asked about the actress’ feedback on this, she says, “I was overwhelmed with the wishes of near and dear ones as soon as the award title was announced. People showered love from all corners of the world and I was touched to know that people were moved by the emotional moments in the film. I was also pleased to hear when someone remarked, that I’m ‘uncognizable’ on screen.” She added that someone close to her said, that “You dwell in the character so well that it’s hard to recognize you on screen and obviously, you turn into a person you are not in real life”. The actress thanked the eminent jury and the film fraternity for choosing her for this Award.