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Highlighting the 10th anniversary of the prestigious DC South Asian Film Festival (DCSAFF), Sushmita Sen was awarded the International Association of Working Women Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Series (‘Aarya’). The Disney+ Hotstar crime-thriller follows Aarya, an independent woman who joins a mafia gang in order to get revenge for her husband's murder. On her win, an elated Sen said, “A big shout out to Indian women who are producing and working on such shows. Thank you on behalf of 500 or so ‘Aarya’ team members – from the bottom of my heart.”

Joe S. Khera, Director of the International Association of Working Women (iAWWOMEN) said: “Women represent a key demographic for the entertainment industry, so it comes as no surprise that 2021 witnessed a fundamental shift in the rise of female-driven content. With nominees from 10 countries, including: Argentina (Valeria Bertuccelli, ‘El Cuaderno de Tony’), Australia (Anna Trov, ‘The Newsreader’), Canada (Vinessa Antoine, ‘Diggstown’), Egypt (Menna Shalabi, ‘Every Week Has Friday’), India (Sushmita Sen, ‘Aarya’), Israel (Niv Sultan, ‘Tehran’), Spain (Ane Gabarain, ‘Patria’), South Korea (Hoyeon Jung, ‘Squid Game’), United Kingdom (Hayley Squires, ‘Adult Material’), USA (Mj Rodriguez, ‘Pose’) – selecting this year’s recipient was not an easy task.

As Aarya, Sushmita Sen’s emotions were very raw and personal, which allowed for her performance to resonate with not only a global audience, but also the jury.” On her portrayal of Aarya, Sen said, “I credit my performance to a collective effort of our team, the director, my co-actors and assistants.”

“DCSAFF is among the top 5 premier South Asian film festivals in the world and one of the most celebrated events on the Washington DC cultural calendar,” added Vice President of iAWWOMEN, Mitnain K. “This is our second collaboration with DCSAFF and we are thankful to festival directors Manoj and Geeta Singh for supporting our efforts of championing women in the fields of film, television and digital media.”

Hosted by the DC South Asian Arts Council Inc., DCSAFF takes place annually in the heart of America’s capital – showcasing the best in alternative cinema from India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Maldives, and Tibet. The 2022 edition of the festival will run virtually from 16th-30th January.



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