Ishwak Singh bags the best actor award at SAIFF: Life doesn’t fail to surprise


Recently, Ishwak Singh clinched the Best Actor award at the Stars Asian International Film Festival for his performance in the film Berlin. The good news unfolded in an unexpected and, as he describes it, “mosquito-ridden moment”. “It is like the old cliché which is so relevant that ‘Life doesn’t fail to surprise you.’ I had broken sleep, woke up in the middle of the night, hating the mosquito that was biting me and so irritated,” he shares candidly, adding, “There were several messages from my director ‘Call me, it’s urgent’ because he is in the US attending the festival. I called him, and he told me that I’ve won the award, and the event is in the next hour. So, it was a surprising news in the middle of the night.’

Ishwak Singh in Berlin
Ishwak Singh in Berlin

The actor, still absorbing the news, quickly recorded an acceptance speech dedicated to his director. “I want to dedicate the award to my director mainly because he was really inspiring for me. He lets you soar and fly.”

Talking about his character in Berlin, the 34-year-old tells us, “I played a deaf character, so there was a lot of preparation that was only about exploration. I got to know about the real issues of their community.” Learning the intricate sign language, ISL, proved to be the actor’s biggest challenge. “I wanted to be in a state of mind that whenever I am on the set, I am naturally communicating with everyone in sign language. It shouldn’t look like something that I learned.”

The recognition on an international stage left him humbled, especially among the presence of Hollywood’s elite. “It’s a big deal, and it’s amazing as there were so many huge Hollywood stars sitting there. They are aware of my work, and Atul told me that they really loved the performance and wanted to meet me. It feels great.”

Reflecting on the broader impact of this accolade, he says, “It’s sort of a gateway to more possibilities, but you can’t really put a finger on it. I didn’t know that Berlin would reach this point. In our line of work, you can never be calculative in that sense.”


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