Raj Arjun wins Best Actor for Pilibhit at CBFF 2022
Inspired by real stories, Pilibhit addresses the man-animal conflict along the India-Nepal border
Actor Raj Arjun has won Best Actor Male for Pilibhit at the Chitra Bharati Film Festival-2022 (CBFF-2022) of Bhartiya Chitra Sadhna held in Bhopal. Raj, known for roles in Thalaivi, Secret Superstar, Dear Comrade, has been racking up festival nods. He previously received The Best Actor Award for The Minituarist Of Junagarh At IFFSA Toronto 2021 and ITA awards for Sabka Sai.
Sharing his joy, Raj says, "When your work is acknowledged and appreciated with a lot of acceptance and love, it gives you immense satisfaction as an artist. It brings a sense of motivation and conviction in you that people are connecting with your honesty and generosity in work. I feel honoured and humbled on receiving this award from intellectual and eminent people from the government and our industry who promotes film culture. Plus, it adds on a responsibility to keep doing great work and live up to the expectations in near future."
Bollywood personalities such as Akshay Kumar, Vivek Agnihotri as well as different government representatives attended the festival.
Pilibhit is directed by first-time filmmakers Ashutosh Chaturvedi and Pankaj Mavchi. The film was shot in and around Pilibhit, a flute-making district near Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh. In the film, Raj portrays a flute-maker named Siraj. Heavily impoverished, Siraj lives with his family at the edge of a forest filled with man-eating tigers. His crippling poverty and a series of tragedies force him to take a drastic decision that threatens his values and may snatch away a loved one.
Inspired by real stories, Pilibhit addresses the man-animal conflict along the India-Nepal border. "When Ashutosh and Pankaj brought the script of Pilibhit to me and narrated the whole story, it gave me goosebumps," Raj adds. "I wanted to play the character of Siraj in the film but unfortunately they came to offer me the role of Bilal who has a negative shade in the film. Of course, after watching Secret Superstar it's not even their fault, so it didn't work out. But after a few days, they were ready to offer me Siraj with a token amount. I readily agreed to play Siraj and refused to take any amount because I believed that somewhere this story had that value in it. It has screened in almost 30 festivals across more than 14 countries and received many awards. And now, this milestone!"