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Mrinal Sen honoured

Staff Reporter

Lifetime Achievement Award at Osian’s Cinefan film festival

Photo: Sandeep Saxena

Excellence honoured: Noted filmmaker Mrinal Sen being conferred the Cinefan Lifetime Achievement Award for contribution to cinema by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit in New Delhi on Friday. Looking on (right) is Cinefan founder Aruna Vasudev.

NEW DELHI: Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Friday conferred Osian’s Lifetime Achievement Award on renowned filmmaker Mrinal Sen at the inauguration of the 10th Osian’s Cinefan Festival of Asian and Arab Cinema at Siri Fort auditorium here.

The Aruna Vasudev Lifetime Achievement Award for writing on cinema was presented to journalist-screenwriter, Jose ‘Pete’ F. Lacaba from the Philippines.

After receiving the coveted award, Mr. Sen said: “I feel as if I am reborn. My relationship with the organisers goes a long way. Even though it feels great to receive this award, I feel I should have made more films. I have to correct my conclusions in old films. Perhaps I should have done more work to satisfy the people who have honoured me with this award today. Even now ideas keep popping in my head.”

Later Mr. Lacaba thanked Osian’s for decorating him with the prestigious award. “Critics watch films because of directors and movie buffs go to theatres to see big stars on the silver screen. But scriptwriters are rarely remembered.”

Cinefan founder Aruna Vasudev, who formally handed over the charge of the festival to Neville Tuli, said it had been a long and eventful journey as she couldn’t have imagined that from a shoe-string budget the festival would grow into a gigantic cinema-loving event. “One needs to nurture a dream and then realise it. Earlier I was running Cinemaya magazine and was often asked by my readers why I cannot show them films. To organise a film festival one needs money and I went to Sheila Dikshit who thought it was a wonderful idea and gave me Rs.6 lakh. The first Cinefan Festival of Asian Cinema saw the screening of 27 films,” she recalled.

Elaborating on the marriage between Cinefan and Osian’s, Ms. Vasudev said it was the coming together of like-minded people that lead to this merger. “Neville may have a different vision of cinema but we both shared the dream to popularise films. Now Arab cinema has been institutionalised. I am leaving the festival in very adventurous hands,” she added.

Stating that they both shared a stubborn streak to put their views across, Mr. Tuli said: “Aruna was told by people that I was an obnoxious arrogant person and the whole thing would die, but this misconception was removed. She has a deep stubborn streak and is a fountain head of knowledge.”

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