At the Ottawa Indian Film Festival Awards, 'Nishiddho,' the first film produced by Kerala State Film Development Corporation (KSFDC) as part of the State government's pioneering effort to promote promising women directors, won the Best Feature Film Award (OIFFA). Tara Ramanujan won the FFSI K R Mohanan Award for Best Debut Director from India at the International Competition Section of the 26th International Film Festival of Kerala 2022 (IFFK), according to a press statement from KSFDC.

According to the release, the film won Best Feature Film at OIFFA shortly after winning Second Best Film at the 52nd State Film Awards this year.

The OIFFA, an exclusive film festival held in Canada for filmmakers from India and the Indian diaspora as well as films featuring Indian content, had a strong competition segment of Indian films with around 14 feature films and five short films being screened, it said.

According to the release, 'Nishiddho' is one of two films produced as part of the government's project to support and mainstream aspiring female directors, an initiative aimed at empowering women by allowing them to express themselves creatively.

The other film, 'Divorce,' directed by debutant Mini I G, will be released before Onam, while 'Nishiddho,' will be released after the festival, according to the statement, which also stated that the government has exempted both films from entertainment tax as a special gesture to support women empowerment initiatives.

KSFDC chairman Shri Shaji N Karun said the OIFFA triumph is a significant distinction for a woman filmmaker from Kerala, and the award would instill huge confidence in aspiring women directors who want to be a part of the corporation's mission, according to the statement.

According to the press release, Kani Kusruti plays Chaavi and Tanmay Dhanania plays Rudra, an idol-maker from Kolkata.

KSFDC is India's first public sector film development corporation, having been founded in 1975.

The film 'Nishiddho,' which means 'forbidden,' depicts a blossoming connection between a Bengali man and a Tamil woman in their Kerala workplace.

The online film festival, which ran from June 14 to 18, featured a strong competition segment of Indian films.