Rajkummar Rao won the best actor at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards for his performance in Newton, which also won the best screenplay award at the ceremony today. The two awards have come as a boost to the critically-acclaimed Newton, which will represent India in the Best Foreign Language category at the 90th Academy Awards next year.
Rao, who has a broken ankle, said coming to the awards gala despite the injury, turned out to be worthwhile. “This is very encouraging… It inspires me to work harder everyday. Congratulation to fellow nominees, your performances have inspired all of us. Let us keep doing this beautiful work making these wonderful stories. Let us keep doing that. Here is to cinema,” he said in his acceptance speech.
Rao left the stage after his speech only to return shortly, politely asking, “I am sorry. Can I take 10 more seconds? It is very important.” This was to give tributes to his mother, who passed away while he was shooting for the film. “It was a hard time for us to make this film. When I was shooting for this film, my dear mother passed away. We were shooting in the forests of Chhattisgarh.
“It is because of her blessings, I believe that ‘Newton’ is getting all these appreciations. So thank you mom and I love you,” Rao said. Newton revolves around a rookie but idealistic election officer as he struggles to hold elections in a Chhattisgarh village despite the threat of Naxalite violence. Writer Mayank Tewari and director Amit V Masurkar shared the award for the best screenplay at the ceremony where Australia’s Sweet Country won the top award.
With movies like Kai Po Che, City Lights, Newton, Rajkummar Rao has become one of the bankable actors in B-Town. His recent movie Newton, which released alongside Sanjay Dutt’s comeback film Bhoomi, not only has been a huge success at the box office but also was selected as India’s official entry to Oscars. After winning accolades worldwide, Rajkummar starrer Newton added another feather in its hat.
Won the best actor award at the most prestigious #APSA2017 (Asia Pacific Screen Awards). Thank you Maa. Thank u team #Newton. Don’t stop chasing your dreams because they really do come true. pic.twitter.com/4GPRqRHyd1
— Rajkummar Rao (@RajkummarRao) November 23, 2017
Ecstatic over the win, Rajkummar tweeted, “Won the best actor award at the most prestigious APSA 2017. Thank you Maa. Thank you team ‘Newton’. Don’t stop chasing your dreams because they really do come true.”
He also posted a photograph in which the actor, wearing a black bandhgala, is seen kissing the trophy.
The winners’ names were being updated on the event’s Twitter handle, which also gave a glimpse into Rajkummar’s acceptance speech.
“Let’s keep doing this beautiful work, let’s keep making these wonderful stories. Here’s to cinema,” Rajkummar said and thanked his late mother for blessing Newton, read a post on the official APSA Twitter page.
Filmmaker Hansal Mehta and actor Manoj Bajpayee congratulated the movie’s team. “Congratulations my darling Rajkummar Rao and amazing talents Mayank Tewari, Amit Masurkar. A win at the APSA is a huge achievement and should make India super proud,” tweeted Hansal Mehta, who has worked with Rajkummar multiple times.
India’s Lady of the Lake by director Haobam Paban Kumar won a special mention in the Cultural Diversity Award Under the Patronage of UNESCO category in which Dede was the winner.