Buddhadeb Dasgupta bags Grand Athena award
Days after his "Kalpurush" was chosen for the National Award, the veteran Bengali director has been chosen for Greece's coveted Golden Athena award.
It is raining awards for filmmaker Buddhadeb Dasgupta. Days after his "Kalpurush" was chosen for the National Award, the veteran Bengali director has been chosen for Greece's coveted Golden Athena award.
It is the grand prize of the Athens International Film Festival (AIFF), where a retrospective of seven of his films will be screened at the Sep 20-30 event.
"I just got the news from Greece and felt quite happy about it," Dasgupta told IANS.
Festival director Orestis Andreadakis wrote to Dasgupta saying: "We would truly be honoured if you would accept our Grand Prize, the Golden Athena, for your excellent achievement in filmmaking. Previously, the Golden Athena prize for excellent achievement has been awarded to Kim Ki Duk, Daniel Day Lewis and Costas Gavras."
Dasgupta added that everyone at the AIFF had always valued Dasgupta's work and had loved "The Voyeurs" (Dasgupta's latest film "Ami, Yasin Arr Amar Madhubala").
"We are currently compiling the list of films constituting this year's programme and we would like to present a retrospective of your cinematic work, including seven feature films," Andreadakis said.
He said the retrospective would provide a rare opportunity to spotlight Dasgupta's work and modern Indian cinema "which beyond Bollywood musicals is little known in Greece".
AIFF is the only festival in the world where the grand prize is awarded by a youth jury consisting of film students aged 18-25, selected from all over the European Union.
The festival runs from Sep 20 to 30.
Talking about his latest film, "The Voyeurs", which dwells on love and relationships in the time of web-cams and CCTVs, Dasgupta said: "Everything has got mechanised. We have become obsessed with security, but ordinary human values such as love and kindness have lost their simple meaning.
"Do the web-cams and CCTVs that are constant witnesses to our lives make us any less vulnerable than we are to terrorists? Are police and security forces really our protectors? It has a storyline which is universal now as the characters get sucked into a vortex of events that may occur in India or Europe, or anywhere," he said.
"Kalpurush", which bagged the National Award for best film of 2005, has been screened in many international film fests earlier and focuses on an ambitious wife.