Girish Kasaravalli's Kanada-language film In The Shadow Of The Dog (Nayi Neralu) won the best film award at the International Film Festival of Mumbai (IFFM) which concluded on Thursday.

A trophy and a cash prize of $2,300 (Rs100,000) were presented to the director and a trophy and cash prize of $1,700 (Rs75,000) to the producer of the film by the international jury led by Indian filmmaker Girish Karnad.

The international jury also presented Ahsan Muzid's The Fortunate One (Sonam), which is the first feature film made in the Arunachalee language, with the special jury prize.

'Sonam is the first film in that language, making it a historic film, as well as being beautifully shot,' said Karnad.

It was a double celebration for the film as it also picked up the FIRPESCI critics award. Announcing the award, Steve Ayornide from the FIPRESCI jury described Sonam as, 'being able to narrate a delicate social yet human story of North Eastern Indian tribes with flair and universal appeal'.

The other members of the international jury were Paolo Minuto from Italy, Phyllis Mollet from France, Ambale Aguilaz from the Philippines and Alireza Raieesian from Iran.

Karnad said IFFM had 'developed into a major festival' but added that the jury was disappointed with having only 12 Indian films to select from for the best film competition section. 'The Mumbai Academy of the Moving Image (MAMI) must make a greater effort to reach out to filmmakers to enter films to raise the standard of the competition.'

Awards were also presented to actor-director Aparna Sen for her 'Significant Contribution to Cinema over 25 Years' and cinematographer and filmmaker Govind Nihalani who was presented with the Kodak Award for Technical Excellence.

Mira Nair's The Namesake closed the week-long festival, presented by Adlabs, in which 100 films from 32 countries were screened. The next IFFM is scheduled to start on March 6, 2008.