Nitesh Tiwari on National Award for Chhichhore: I can only imagine how happy Sushant would have been if he was here with us

Director Nitesh Tiwari remembers his film’s leading man as his film Chhichhore has been declared Best Hindi feature film at the National Film Awards.

Nitesh Tiwari was in the middle of an ad commercial’s shoot when his wife, filmmaker Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari came running and started screaming in joy. National Film Awards had just been announced on Monday, and his directorial Chhichhore (2019) has been declared Best Hindi feature film.

“I had absolutely no idea, then Ashwiny started screaming in the middle of the shot. She told me then, and was very happy since Kangana Ranaut also won it for her directed film Panga. We stopped the shoot for 5 minutes, as my costume designer, production designer, and Assistant Director for Chhichhore were also all present. We started enjoying the moment, and then went back to shoot quietly (laughs) We celebrated later after the shoot,” recalls the Dangal director.

What of course wasn’t missed by anyone is Chhichhore being late actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s last theatrical release before he died in 2020. Tiwari gets emotional when we mention him, “The emotions of everyone are justified. Each and every member of the team has the same feeling… there is a sense of happiness, but there’s a sense of loss as well. All of us are very happy that our film won the recognition we thought it deserves. The sense of sadness is there because Sushant isn’t here to celebrate. I can only imagine how happy he would have been if he was here with us.”

Tiwari meanwhile called every member of the film’s team individually after the awards were announced, and a celebration will happen after the Covid situation gets better. “For me, any sort of recognition for something which is commercial, and at the same time not so commercial, speaks a lot about the way things are changing in our industry. Chhichhore got so much love from the audience and did well at the box office. At the same time, if it is going and winning the hearts of the jury for a prestigious award it only makes me feel humbled. I am filled with a sense of gratitude for all the recognition that has come. I feel happy for each and every member of the team who put in their heart and soul into the film,” the director says.

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