Kolkata: Veteran actress Sharmila Tagore heaped praises on Yemeni filmmaker Khadija Al Salami, considered the first woman director from her country, for being courageous enough to highlight the sufferings of women in the name of religion and tradition in her film "I Am Nojoom, Age 10 And Divorced".
At the closing ceremony of the 21st Kolkata International Film Festival on Saturday, Tagore, who was heading the jury selecting the best woman director and film from 14 short-listed films, lauded Salami's bravery.
"It is very brave of her to show the courage and make this film and highlight the suffering of scores of women in the name of religion and tradition," Tagore said.
Though Salami didn't bag the top honours, she received special mention from the five-member jury.
In addition to Tagore, the jury comprised well-known Chinese-American actress Bai Ling, Polish director Filip Marczewski, Israeli filmmaker Samuel Maoz and Sri Lankan actress Swarna Mallawarachchi.
Speaking on behalf of the jury, Tagore also acknowledged Swiss-Canadian director Lea Pool's "The Passion of Augustine" for excellence in several fields.
"It was at another level but it was a beautiful level. It had beautiful photography, beautiful dialogues and stellar performances," Tagore said.
Colombian filmmaker Libia Stella Gomez won the coveted Golden Royal Bengal Tiger Award for best woman director and Hungarian entry "The Wednesday Child" bagged the trophy for best film at the festival.