NEW DELHI: Indian Film Festival of Melbourne has awarded Rani Mukherjee with the 'Best Actress Award for the year'.
Rani had won hearts with her outstanding performance in the Yash Raj films project.
As Naina Mathur, a passionate teacher who deals with Tourette Syndrome, Rani delivered a powerful performance, also communicating a key message about equal treatment for people with physical challenges in India.
Her character inspires positive change in school students from economically backward origins, a story that resonated globally for 'Hichki' to become a massive hit.
Hugely popular with sizeable Indian diaspora living in Melbourne, Rani expressed her gratitude saying, "Indian Film Festival of Melbourne has always welcomed the best of Indian cinema and celebrated our form of storytelling.
I feel very proud and thankful that Hichki has been accepted and loved by audiences here.
It's a story with universal resonance, and it's spirit of positivity has won over Indians and locals here.
I am also grateful for winning the Best Actress Award and sincerely thank everyone for applauding my performance."
"I have found this film festival a vibrant and progressive setting for cinema and its impact beyond languages and cultures.
I thoroughly enjoyed being in Melbourne and hope to travel with my films here in the near future," Rani said.
The theme of the IFFM 2018 festival was 'Inclusion'.
Rani is one of the few mainstream actresses who have successfully and sensitively embraced such subjects through her exceptional films 'Black' and 'Hichki' so Rani was also chosen unanimously to win the 'Excellence in Cinema' award at the ceremony.
IFFM had an eminent panel of jury (Andrew Anastasios, Jill Bilcock, Geoffrey Wright, Nikkhil Advani, Rajeev Masand, Simi Garewal, Sue Maslin) who unanimously decided upon Rani Mukerji's win as the Best Actress.