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HomeEntertainmentNew York Indian Film Festival to celebrate 50-year career of Shabana Azmi

New York Indian Film Festival to celebrate 50-year career of Shabana Azmi


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Veteran Bollywood actor Shabana Azmi is known for her various versatile roles. The New York Film Festival will be celebrating her vast career in cinema next month. Azmi is just not popular for her theatre acting in Bollywood but in the Indian subcontinent.

The 24th edition of the NYIFF considered North America’s longest-running and most prestigious Indian film festival, will run from May 31-June 2 and showcase 49 narrative, documentaries and short films starring some of the biggest names in cinema, including Amitabh Bachchan and Naseeruddin Shah including the 50 years of Azmi.

Her art film, Fire will be showcased in the gala which will celebrate Azmi’s landmark anniversary of the completion of five decades in Hindi cinema. The film, Fire directed by Deepa Mehta in 1996, is based on a lesbian relationship, igniting protests and sparking nationwide debates on homosexuality and freedom of speech in India. It marked a pivotal moment in mainstream cinema, challenging societal norms and promoting dialogue on LGBTQ+ rights.

“I have been associated with the New York Indian Film Festival since its inception and I am heartened by the progress it has made over the years in leaps and bounds. I am happy that my 50th year is being celebrated at the NYIFF and I look forward to it,” a NYIFF statement quoted Azmi as saying.

The Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan awardee has starred in over 140 Hindi films and 12 international productions.

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Azmi has acted not just in Hindi cinema and parallel cinema but several of her films received international attention and also in Scandinavian countries, including at the Norwegian Film Institute, the Smithsonian Institution and the American Film Institute.

Her internationally accoladed films include John Schlesinger’s Madame Sousatzka, Nicholas Klotz’s Bengali Night, Roland Joffe’s City of Joy, Channel 4’s Immaculate Conception, Blake Edwards’ Son of the Pink Panther, and Ismail Merchant’s In Custody.

Recently she received an award for her role in Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt starrer rom-com Rocky Rani Ki Prem Kahaani.

This year’s festival line-up features films that “showcase the depth and range of contemporary Indian cinema, including cutting-edge dramas, documentaries, and shorts, some that premiered at Cannes Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival,” said IAAC.

“NYIFF is a must-watch event for anyone interested in Indian cinema and its growing impact on global cinema. It offers a unique opportunity to explore and appreciate the diverse cinematic voices emerging from India today,” added the chairman of the Indo-American Arts Council Dr Nirmal Mattoo.

This year’s NYIFF will feature films in 12 languages spoken across India such as Assamese, Bengali, English, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Malayalam, Marathi, Oria, Punjabi and Tamil.

The festival screens premieres of feature, documentary and short films made from, of, and about the Indian subcontinent in the independent, art-house, alternate and diaspora genres. It includes post-screening discussions, industry panels and award ceremonies.


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