Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan will soon be honoured with an award by the International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF). The veteran actor will be the first Indian cinema personality to be bestowed with the FIAF Award for his commitment and contribution to the preservation of the world’s film heritage.
Nominated by the FIAF affiliate Film Heritage Foundation, Bachchan will be presented the award by Hollywood filmmakers and previous recipients, Martin Scorcese and Christopher Nolan in a virtual showcase on March 19.
Bachchan stated that he is greatly honored to receive the award for a cause he is” deeply committed” to.
“It was when I became the ambassador of Film Heritage Foundation in 2015, that I realized the extent of the neglect and colossal loss of our precious film heritage and how we continue to lose more of our legacy every day. Recognizing the urgency of the situation, I have been working closely with Film Heritage Foundation since its inception to do everything in our power to save our films and to build a movement for film preservation in our part of the world”, says the megastar. The actor further stating that film archiving is as essential as filmmaking, and is hoping to garner future support from the industry and the government.
Frédéric Maire, President of FIAF believes that “there could be no better recipient than one of the world’s greatest movie stars, and one who has understood, embraced, and publicized the cause of film preservation for years…By presenting our prestigious FIAF Award to Amitabh Bachchan, we want to show the world how rich and diverse, but also how fragile, this unique film heritage is, and we want to publicly thank Mr Bachchan for his role as a high-profile advocate for the rescue of this heritage, in India and beyond.”
Renowned filmmaker Christopher Nolan also took congratulate Bachchan and declared that the megastar has played “an essential role in putting the cause of film preservation on the map in India and the subcontinent.”
According to Shivendra Singh Dungarpur, Founder of the Film Heritage Foundation, India’s record in film preservation is appallingly dismal. In fact, there are only 29 surviving silent films from 1338 that were made in the country.
Dungarpur who was instrumental in nominating Bachchan says the foundation is “fortunate to enjoy the unstinting support of our ambassador, Amitabh Bachchan, who has championed the cause of saving our film heritage and constructively wielded his influence to amplify the cause on a war footing in our part of the world.”
Previous recipients of FIAF include legends such as Martin Scorsese, Manoel de Oliveira, Geraldine Chaplin, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, Christopher Nolan, Walter Salles, and many more.
(Contributed by Nikhita H.)