About A Friend’s Story
Akash Khurana has been acting, writing, and directing for the stage and screen for over three decades. In the eighties, he founded and edited Ovation, Bombay’s only English language theatre journal at the time. He has worked extensively with Satyadev Dubey, Sunil Shanbag and Naseeruddin Shah, directing and acting. He is a core member of Arpana, Motley, and Akvarious Productions, three of India’s foremost theatre companies. His recent theatre projects include Brian Friel’s Faith Healer, and “A Friend’s Story”, an adaptation of Vijay Tendulkar’s Mitrachi Goshta.
He made his first screen appearance in Shyam Benegal’s Kalyug and went on to play character roles in nearly 60 films such as Ardh Satya, Party, Saaransh, Trikaal, Naam, Beta, Saudagar, Sarfarosh, Company, and Barfii. He won the Nandi Award of Andhra Pradesh for playing the lead in the Telugu film Dr. Ambedkar. He has also written over 20 screenplays, including Baazigar, for which he won the Filmfare Award. He is presently directing a feature film about a mystic journey down the Ganges.
Best Actor in a Lead Role (Female)
Sayalee Phatak has been very active in the Pune theatre circuit, having performed in plays by Aasakta (including the META nominated Tichee Satra Prakarne), Natak Company, and Samanvay. She has also acted in a couple of Hindi films and a Marathi television series. Besides acting, Sayalee teaches drama in two institutes in Pune and has designed costumes for various plays.
Best Actor in a Lead Role (Male)
A trained actor and dancer, Abhay Mahajan has been a part of the alternative theatre and film movement in India for the past ten years. He has a diploma from the Attakalari Centre of Dance and Movement Arts and has acted in over 30 full length plays, 7 films, and most recently in the hugely successful web series Pitchers. This is Abhay’s second META nomination as Best Actor (after Shillak, 2013).