By Subhash K Jha
MUMBAI: Encomiums and Shabana Azmi are bum chums.
In her career of 41 years she has collected more awards – national and popular – than any other Indian actor. Shabana’s retrospectives are held at film festivals all over the world, almost every year.
Now she and her dazzling oeuvre head for the prestigious River To River film festival in Florence where, between 22 November and 27 November, Shabana’s best works from Shyam Benegal’s Ankur to Mahesh Bhatt’s Arth and Vinay Shukla’s Godmother to Deepa Mehta’s Fire and Mahesh Dattani’s Morning Raga are to be screened.
Last year the River To River festival had a retrospective of Amitabh Bachchan’s films.
That isn’t all. The Cultural Councillor of the Region Tuscany Cristina Scaletti will be giving to Shabana the Pegasus of the Region Tuscany award on the opening evening of November 22nd.
Shabana has had many retrospectives such as the one at the New York Film Festival where she was the first actor ever to be thus honoured as till then they used to do retros only of directors. Retrospectives of her films were also held at Cinematheque in Paris,at British Film Institute London, Avignon, Winnipeg, Toronto etc.
Says Shabana, “ I’m honoured and humbled and grateful to the writers and directors who cast me in challenging roles. The Pegasus honour is big because when a state recognises you its very heartening.”