Amitabh Bachchan was honoured with the International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF) award on Friday evening, which was bestowed on him by filmmakers Martin Scorsese and Christopher Nolan via a virtual ceremony. He is the first Indian to get this award, which honours his efforts to preserve India’s film heritage.
Scorsese and Nolan are previous recipients of the award. In the ceremony, Scorsese said the organisation “could not have chosen a more deserving candidate for the award”, while Nolan remembered a meeting with Bachchan a few years ago. “I had the privilege of meeting this living legend a few years ago,” the filmmaker said, adding, “You realise the importance of everything you have done for the preservation of India’s film heritage.”
Accepting the award, Bachchan said he was “deeply honoured”. Wearing dark glasses, he said they were not a fashion choice instead his recent ‘urgent eye surgery’ necessitated that he wore them as protection.
The FIAF is a worldwide organisation, comprising film archives and museums from across the world. Bachchan’s name was nominated by the FIAF affiliate Film Heritage Foundation.
Bachchan also said that it was his wife Jaya Bachchan that brought the organisation and the subject to his notice. “It was when I became the ambassador of Film Heritage Foundation in 2015, that I realised 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. Recognising 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,” the 78-year-old actor said.
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