Amol Palekar receives Zenith Asia honour at the ongoing 9th Asian Film Festival

Actor-director Amol Palekar is honoured as ‘Zenith Asia’ towards his contribution to world cinema, at the ongoing 9th Asian Film Festival in Pune. He received the honour from renowned film maker Kumar Shahani. 

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Kumar Shahni honouring actor-director Amol Palekar at the Asian Film Festival. Picture Courtesy: Indian Express

Organised by National Film Archive of India at the Archive Theatre in Pune, the ninth edition of Asian Film Festival (AFF) would screen more than 40 films from 15 different countries. The movies, screened during the week-long festival that began on December 24, are in varied genres, fraternity and languages, including international as well as regional lingos of India. The opening of the carnival was graced with a screening of Turkish Film ‘Zer’ by filmmaker Karim Oz. Festival director Virendra Chitrav, during a press conference prior to the event, said: “While other festivals focus on global cinema, Asian Film Festival focuses on films that are relatable to the Asian audience in terms of culture and lifestyle.”

Amol Palekar the veteran film actor and director was honoured with Zenith Asia award at the festival. He received the award from the hands of National Award winning film maker Kumar Shahani. On the occassion Palekar spoke on sensitive issues related to ‘tolerance’ and ‘portrayal of women’ in the film industry. Citing the recently sparked controversy concerning actor Naseeruddin Shah and of artist TM Krishna, Palekar called for help to build a more ‘tolerant society’. As per an Indian Express article, Palekar said that people must ‘agree to disagree in peaceful ways’ and added, ‘in this time of great division, as an artiste, I am in search of diminishing grace’.

The critically acclaimed actor, who has beautifully presented the ‘common man’ in films like ‘Chhoti Si Baat’ and ‘Golmal’, has directed various films, including Shah Rukh Khan-starrer ‘Paheli’ which was India’s official entry to Oscars in 2006. Palekar also spoke about lopsided portrayal of women in the films, both International as well as Indian films. He also expressed concern over Hindi language films being perceived of greater significance than regional films. He feels that this perception should change and films should be looked upon their merit.

The intimate film festival would help its audience realise the academic and cultural value of Asian films. The audience can watch different movies, parallel cinemas and also offbeat Bollywood films at a mere price of Rs 200 per head. Reach before December 30 to see it all.

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Image source: Asian Film Festival Facebook page

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