Amitabh Bachchan Becomes the First Indian to Be Presented with the FIAF Award

Avya Sharma , 10 Mar 2021
Amitabh Bachchan, Shivendra Singh Dungarpur and Christopher Nolan
Amitabh Bachchan, Shivendra Singh Dungarpur and Christopher Nolan

In a virtual ceremony, which is all set to take place on March 19, megastar Amitabh Bachchan will be awarded the 2021 FIAF Award by The International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF). The Indian screen legend’s name was nominated by the FIAF affiliate Film Heritage Foundation, founded by filmmaker and archivist Shivendra Singh Dungarpur. Celebrated Hollywood filmmakers Martin Scorsese and Christopher Nolan, who share a strong relationship with India through their affiliation with the Film Heritage Foundation, will present the award to Amitabh Bachchan virtually for his dedication and contribution to the preservation of the world’s film heritage. He will be the first Indian to receive the prestigious global award. Martin Scorsese and Christopher Nolan have been some of the recipients of the award.

Acknowledging the global recognition, which also spotlights India on the world stage, Amitabh Bachchan states—

I am greatly honoured to receive the FIAF Award for the year 2021 for a cause that I am 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. We must strengthen the idea that film archiving is as essential as filmmaking, and I do hope that we are able to garner further support for this most essential cause from my colleagues in the film industry and the government, to enable us to realize our dream for building a centre that will preserve and showcase our magnificent film heritage.

Shivendra Singh Dungarpur, Founder, Film Heritage Foundation, who was instrumental in nominating Amitabh Bachchan for the award says—

India’s record in film preservation is dismal. By 1950, India lost almost 70 per cent of its films, and of the 1338 silent films made in India, just about 29 survive, many only in fragments. Our foundation has been working relentlessly to preserve what remains of our endangered film heritage not just in India, but in the subcontinent. This has been a cause that has been much neglected in our part of the world, and we have been fortunate enough 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. This is the reason we nominated him for the award, and he was unanimously voted by all FIAF Executive Committee members to be given the award.

Martin Scorsese adds—

Safeguarding cinema is a global cause with champions all over the world. Amitabh Bachchan’s advocacy for preserving India’s film legacy has been exceptional. With a career spanning over five decades, he is a celebrated actor who has put the considerable weight of his reputation behind the cause of film preservation in India and the entire subcontinent. I would like to thank Shivendra Singh Dungarpur and Film Heritage Foundation for nominating Amitabh Bachchan for the 2021 FIAF Award and the FIAF Executive Committee for unanimously backing this nomination. They could not have chosen a more deserving individual to recognize this year.

Further stressing the requirement to preserve our film heritage, Nolan says, “As a past recipient of the FIAF Award, I know how imperative it is that representatives of the film industry around the world come together to ensure that we preserve our film heritage. I want to congratulate Amitabh Bachchan on receiving the 2021 honour. As the ambassador for Film Heritage Foundation, he has played an essential role in putting the cause of film preservation on the map in India and the subcontinent.”

On the acting front, Amitabh Bachchan was last seen in Shoojit Sircar‘s Gulabo Sitabo alongside Ayushmann Khurrana. Big B will be next seen in Rumy Jafry’s Chehre. The film also stars Emraan Hashmi. The megastar also has Ayan Mukerji‘s Brahmastra and Ajay Devgn-helmed Mayday.

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