Actor Manoj Bajpayee stole the show at the 62nd Filmfare Awards by winning the Critics Best Actor award for his performance in Aligarh. Apurva Asrani, the writer of the film, said that Aligarh winning such a mainstream award was a massive step for India’s LGBTQ community.
— Apurva Asrani (@Apurvasrani) January 15, 2017
Aligarh is a retelling of real life incidents which led to the suicide of Shrinivas Ramchandra Siras, a professor of Marathi at the Aligarh Muslim University in Uttar Pradesh. Siras was hounded by University authorities and local residents, after he was discovered having sex with a man in his room. Actor Manoj Bajpai plays Siras, while Rajkumar Rao plays the reporter who covered this incident for Indian Express. The movie is directed by Hansal Mehta.
Lead actor Manoj Bajpayee last won a Filmfare Award 17 years ago. The last award was in the same category as well, for his performance in Shool.
The actor thanked director Hansal Mehta and writer Apurva Asrani in a tweet as well. He shares the award with Shahid Kapoor for his performance in Udta Punjab.
— Manoj Bajpayee (@BajpayeeManoj) January 15, 2017
The film was given an ‘A’ rating by the CBFC because it was themed around homosexuality, leading to criticism of the CBFC for double standards. The film has received much critical acclaim since its preimere at the 20th Busan Film Festival.