Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan will be the 2021 recipient of the annual award presented by the International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF). The award is given away to personalities who have made extraordinary contributions to advocate the cause of film preservation.
Previously, figures such as French New Wave artists Agnes Varda, Jean Luc Godard, and other well-known figures such as Ingmar Bergman, Mike Leigh, Hou Hsiao-Hsien, Peter Bogdanovich, Rithy Panh, Agnès Varda Luc Dardenne, Christopher Nolan, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Jean-Luc Godard, and Walter Salles, have all been previously honoured with the award.
The award will be conferred upon Amitabh Bachchan in a virtual ceremony on March 19 by directors Martin Scorsese and Christopher Nolan. Amitabh Bachchan was nominated by the FIAF-affiliate Film Heritage Foundation, an Indian film archival organization founded by filmmaker and archivist Shivendra Singh Dungarpur.
Industry congratulates Big B
In various press statements, Martin Scorsese and Christopher Nolan have congratulated the Indian megastar.
"Amitabh Bachchan's advocacy for preserving India's film legacy has been exceptional," said Scorsese.
"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," said Nolan who is a staunch supporter of celluloid over digital.
Congratulating Bachchan, Nolan also said, "he has played an essential role in putting the cause of film preservation on the map in India and the subcontinent."
In 2018, during the inauguration ceremony of the Kolkata Film Festival, Amitabh Bachchan had said, "Very little of this great film heritage survives, and if we do not take urgent steps to save what remains, in another hundred years there will be no memory of these films and nothing left to celebrate."