Silicon Valley: Hot on the heels of “Slumdog Millionaire” making waves in the international circuit, ‘Yes ,Madam, Sir’, a documentary based on the life of India’s first woman IPS officer Kiran Bedi has won two top awards at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.
Produced and directed by Australian film-maker Megan Doneman, the documentary has won the $100,000 Best Documentary award and the $2500 Fund for Santa Barbara’s “Social Justice Award” at the festival.
The award money is the biggest prize for a documentary in any film festival in the US.
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The film tracks Bedi’s journey in the police force where she made a name for herself by single-handedly standing down a mob of sword-wielding protestors, towing a car belonging to then prime minister Indira Gandhi’s cavalcade during 1982 Asian Games, and carrying out reforms when posted at India’s largest jail, Tihar in Delhi.
Doneman had travelled sporadically over six years to India to make the documentary which also shows the former supercop at home as a daughter, wife and mother.
On getting the award, an excited Doneman was quoted as saying in a release that “this is not just an Indian story. It is a universal, timeless and inspiring story about standing up for your convictions and never giving up. During today’s difficult times, this story gives us all hope”.
“I forgot I was watching myself. I started to feel so much for the character travelling through the relentless roller coaster of triumph and frustration, comedy and tragedy,” Bedi, who chose Doneman, over several other film-makers to tell her story, said after seeing the 94 minutes documentary, the release added.