Showcasing hidden gems from the world to a global audience is the motivation award winning Indian-filmmaker, Amit R Agarwal had, when he founded #BNHAF, Bol-News Hybrid Art-Awards Festival. The festival is 1st Hybrid Art-Awards Festival launched in India. Agarwal said that the idea originated during Cannes Film Festival 2019, when a French art-curator and film programmer, Margarita, said there are no worthwhile film festivals in Northern India. He took it up as a challenge to set-up not just a film festival but a complete art-awards festival.
The inaugural physical edition was recently launched at Institute of Management Studies University Campus, Ghaziabad. The General Secretary, Rakesh Chharia, appreciated Agarwal’s initiative to launch an International Art-Awards Festival in northern India. He said, “Mass communication and film students in India will gain a lot by this cultural exchange of arts and films. He said this will also open many more opportunities for Media students”.
Since the launch of the virtual edition in October 2021 #BNHAF has hosted more than 50 artists that include filmmakers, actors, actresses, writers, authors and painters. The Inaugural edition saw the participation of 50 films from countries like US, France, Germany, Australia, Philippines, Indonesia, Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan with select screenings.
Dr. Ajay Kumar, Director, IMS, felt that film festivals and media festivals are very important to take a institution forward with global collaborations and tie-ups. He was elated that Agarwal is getting award-winning international films for their Asian premiere.
India’s 1st Scuba International and Ocean Ambassador, Varsha Rajkhowa was given Award of Excellence for her defining work in supporting social cause with her art. Varsha said, “I feel very honored to have won #BNHAF Award of Excellence, it is a great initiative taken by Amit. We needed such a festival in Delhi-NCR, the heart of India, for a very long time now.”
The festival was hybrid and had actress, Priyasha Bhardwaj, and Hollywood producer-actress, Chelsea Murphy, joining virtually. Priyasha won Award of Merit for portraying edgy roles in the OTT space with top credits in Aarya and Mirzapur. In her acceptance speech she said, “I want to thank all that made this journey possible and want to thank #BNHAF for awarding me for my work”.
Chelsea premiered “Okay Tomorrow” an award-winning film she wrote and starred in. She said, “Okay Tomorrow finds the best platform for its South-Asian premiere and I am elated by the terrific response the film has won at #BNHAF. I would like to participate in the forthcoming editions of #BNHAF for sure.”
#BNHAF also identifies one teen-talent from schools contributing to the society in a constructive manner. Agarwal said the reason is teens are the future of India. The teen talent Vedant is working with the underprivileged and is on the social organization wing of his school. He said, “he strives to make a difference to the life of the underprivileged and bring them happiness, because only happy people can contribute to the society”.