Sanjna Kapoor (Photo: Bollywood Hungama/Wikimedia)

Thespian Sanjna Kapoor was awarded the French honour of Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres’ (Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters) on Tuesday for her outstanding contribution to theatre.

Kapoor, who currently runs the Mumbai-based theatre company ‘Junoon’, was felicitated by Franck Riester, the French Minister of Culture, who was on a state visit to India.

“It is a great pleasure to be able to show France’s recognition of your outstanding artistic journey. A passionate woman of theatre, you completely throw yourself into making artistic productions accessible to the greatest number.

“Whether on stage, in front of the camera, or at the helm of the organization you run, you show the same infectious enthusiasm for championing the place of art in our societies,” the minister said.

Born to Bollywood star Shashi Kapoor and British actor Jennifer Kendal, Kapoor (52) debuted as an actor in Aparna Sen’s “36 Chowringhee Lane” (1981).

She was also the leading lady in “Hero Hiralal” (1989), and appeared in Mira Nair’s “Salaam Bombay” (1988), but eventually went on to dedicate herself completely to theatre. She acted in numerous plays, and also took up the job of reviving Mumbai’s Prithvi Theatre, which was founded by her parents.

In 2012, she co-founded ‘Junoon’, an organisation that works towards to increasing the reach of theatre and the arts to wider audiences through innovative initiatives.

The Order of Arts and Letters, instituted in 1957 by the French government, is conferred, regardless of nationality, on people who have distinguished themselves by their creativity in the fields of art or literature, or for their contribution to promoting the arts and literature in France and throughout the world.

Some previous recipients of the award from India include Shahrukh Khan, Hariprasad Chaurasia, Aishwarya Rai, Raghu Rai, Ebrahim Alkazi, Habib Tanveer, Upamanyu Chatterjee, Wendell Rodricks and Aruna Vasudev.

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