Ritesh Batra won the Best Director award for his debut film The Lunchbox at the 4th Odessa International Film Festival in Ukraine held from July 12-20, 2013. There were Eleven films in competition from USA, UK, Israel, Georgia, Italy, Poland, Germany, Romania, France, India, Russia and Ukraine.

The awards were decided and given by the International Jury headed by Ukrainian producer Alexander Rodnyansky. While Ritesh Batra won the Best Director award for The Lunchbox, Russian director Alexander Veledinsky’s The Geographer Drank His Globe Away was declared the Best Film.

The Lunchbox, featuring Irrfan Khan, Nimrat Kaur and Nawazuddin Siddiqui, was received very well at the festival. Early this year, the film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival  in the International Critics’ Week sidebar. It won the Rail d’Or viewers’ Choice award, an independent award given by rail employee film enthusiasts. Since then it has traveled to several film festivals and won various accolades, this award adding another feather in the hat for the director.