Actor Amitabh Bachchan was honoured with the International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF) Award 2021 Friday evening, which was bestowed on him by iconic Hollywood filmmakers Martin Scorsese and Christopher Nolan. Amitabh is the first Indian to receive the award for his sustained efforts towards the advocacy of preservation of India's film heritage.
He shared a picture with the award and wrote on Instagram, "I am deeply honoured to have been conferred with the 2021 FIAF Award. Thank you to FIAF and to Martin Scorsese and Christopher Nolan for bestowing the award on me in the ceremony today. Our commitment to the cause of saving India's film heritage is unshakeable and Film Heritage Foundation will continue its efforts to build a nationwide movement to save our films."
During the ceremony, Martin was all praise for the actor and said, "Cinema is over a century old and sadly, tragically, much of this rich and very diverse film heritage has been lost forever. Safeguarding cinema is a global cause with champions all over the world. Amitabh Bachchan's advocacy for preserving India's film heritage really has been exceptional. I mean, as 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 actually the entire subcontinent. Film preservation, certainly being a long-time passion for me, leading up to the founding of The Film Foundation over 30 years ago and since 2007, our World Cinema Project has restored 43 films from 25 countries, making them available to you, to audiences everywhere."
Watch the 2021 FIAF Award to legendary Indian superstar Amitabh Bachchan ( Watch it from 16: 06 minute)
"And I have been following the growth of the preservation movement in India since the creation of the Film Heritage Foundation and we've supported their annual archival training initiatives. And as a result, I am well aware of the time and the effort that Amitabh has personally devoted to this cause. I mean 20 years ago, I was proud to, actually really proud, to be the first recipient of this prestigious award and I think FIAF could not have chosen a more deserving individual to recognize this year," he said.
Tenet director Christopher remembered one of his meetings with Amitabh and said, "I had the privilege of meeting this living legend of Indian cinema a couple of years ago at an event hosted by the Film Heritage Foundation and it's, as an ambassador for the Film Heritage Foundation, that Mr. Bachchan has done so much advocacy for the vital cause of film preservation in India. It's for this reason that the FIAF Executive Committee unanimously voted to give Mr. Bachchan this year's award. Mr. Bachchan, I hope that you realize the importance of everything that you have done for this vital work for the development of proper infrastructure for the preservation of India's incredible film heritage. This is unbelievably important work and your voice, your reputation behind this cause adds so much and makes so much more possible."
Amitabh later wrote about it on his blog. Elaborating on the purpose and cause, the senior actor wrote on his blog, "The nobility of the cause is of course much larger than the award and I am privileged that we have been able to make an impact through the good services of the Film Heritage Foundation headed by Shivendra Singh who has tirelessly and with immense determination pursued this very vital exercise ..The element and the sense of 'documentation' has been a bane as far as our films are concerned .. and the effort being made by the Foundation of preserving our creativity is most laudable and immediate and necessary ..There is no record or facility in the Country of preserving our films .. now over a hundred years of its existence .. and some of our most valuable and immensely legendary works have been lost or been destroyed through time and garbaged."
He also thanked the Hollywood stars and added, "Thank you Mr Martin Scorsese, Mr Christopher Nolan for joining in through this marvel from Los Angeles , the UK and the other related dignitaries from Lausanne and Brussels in commemoration .. it has been a most honourable moment for me and one that shall remain with the family and indeed the Film fraternity of India in posterity."
FIAF is a worldwide organization, comprising film archives and museums from across the world. The 78-year-old actor's name was nominated by the FIAF affiliate Film Heritage Foundation, a not-for-profit organization founded by filmmaker and archivist Shivendra Singh Dungarpur, dedicated to the preservation, restoration, documentation, exhibition, and study of India's film heritage.