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This article was first published 15 years ago  » Movies » Preity Zinta declared best actress at Chicago film fest

Preity Zinta declared best actress at Chicago film fest

By Arthur J Pais
Last updated on: October 27, 2008 17:23 IST
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Preity Zinta, whose performance in Deepa Mehta's Heaven on Earth, received warm reviews at the Toronto International Film Festival in September, has won the Silver Hugo Award for best actress at the 44th edition of Chicago International Film Festival.
The jury praised her 'for her strong yet subtle performance as a woman struggling to keep her dreams despite brutal realities.'
The film, which will inaugurate the Mahindra Indo-American Arts Council Film Festival in New York on November 5, is the first film in which Mehta has explored the struggle of an immigrant bride in Canada and the choice she has to make to empower herself away from the abusive relationship in her new home. Married to an Indian resident in Canada, she has to use her imagination, wit and soul strength to keep her sanity and self-esteem.
At Chicago, the Gold Hugo  for the Best Film at Chicago was awarded to the British-Irish film depicting an Irish Republican Army's prisoner in the UK who fasted into death. The film also featched for Silver Huge Award for Best Actor for Michael Fassbender for his self-sacrificing performance exemplifying the ideal of "being" rather than "acting."
Like Heaven on Earth, Hunger was also screened at the Toronto event.
Zinta had said at Toronto that when she is old, she would remember Heaven on Earth as her most
accomplished film and the one that is closest to her heart. Though she shies away from darker films, she confessed, she took up Heaven on Earth because of the strength her character is endowed in the script. Besides, she had wanted to act in a Mehta film for a long time, she added.
Heaven on Earth has Mumbai's Ravi Chopra as one of its producers.
The Chicago International Film Festival runs October 16-29; it gives People's Choice Award on its last day. 
Zinta will attend the MIAAC Film Festival along with Mehta. The festival is the biggest and most prestigious of Indian film events in America and Canada. The red carpet inauguration event  will also see Shabana Azmi and Mira Nair, who will be co-chairing it, Salman Rushdie, Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Madhur Jaffrey, Shashi Tharoor, Sooni Taraporevala, Konkana Sen Sharma and Ketan Mehta.
The festival ends on November 9 with Taraporevala's Little Zizou;  the directorial debut of Salaam Bombay! screenwriter Taraporevala will be presented by  Nair who has worked with her in The Namesake and Salaam.
The MIAAC Film Festival will also host Danny Boyle's Toronto favorite Slumdog Millionaire and screen as a tribute to Chetan Anand his 1946 Cannes Gran Prix winner Neech Nagar (Lowly City), the first film scored by the sitar maestro Ravi Shankar.
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Arthur J Pais