New York city honours Shabana Azmi

MUMBAI: New York city has honoured legendary actress Shabana Azmi with a ‘Proclamation by the City of New York‘ for her contribution to cinema and her involvement with the movie industry there.

Azmi becomes the first Indian actor to receive the honour.

Azmi, 61, was presented with the proclamation by Patricia Kaufman, executive director of Motion Picture and Television Development from the office of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo as well as with a ‘Certificate of
Special Congressional Recognition‘ by New York Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney.

Describing Azmi as a "woman of extraordinary achievement hailing from a country rich in culture and traditions," said Kaufman.

The proclamation also applauded her work as a social activist, noting that apart from being a "highly respected" advocate for social justice, she has worked tirelessly for other causes, including funding for displaced Kashmiri migrants and relief for victims of the Latur earthquake.

The proclamation added that her presence on the board of the arts organisation Indo-American Arts council (IAAC) has inspired hundreds of Indian film makers in the New York area for over a decade.

Azmi has served as an advisory board member of the annual New York Indian Film Festival, established by the IAAC in 2000. The annual film festival, which brings together feature films and documentaries from and about the Indian subcontinent, will be held this year from May 23 to 27.

Azmi lauded the IAAC and its co-founder Aroon Shivdasani for creating a space in North America for Indian and diaspora-related films."The fact that the New York City Council recognises my work in cinema becomes a means of saying that Indian cinema is what we recognise because I am who I am because of my first primary identity of being an Indian film actor. It becomes a peg on which you can create greater visibility," Azmi observed.

Azmi’s repertoire of international work includes John Schlesinger‘s Madame Sousatzka, Nicholas Klotz‘s Bengali Night, Roland Joffe‘s City of Joy, and Blake Edwards‘ Son of the Pink Panther.

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