Shammi kapoor felicitated, Osianama unveiled at tenth ocff in Mumbai

MUMBAI: The original ‘yahoo’ star of India, Shammi Kapoor, was felicitated in grand style with a Lifetime Achievement Award in the finale to the two-day Tenth Osian’s-Cinefan Festival of Asian and Arab Cinema at the National Centre of Performing Arts.
In a surprise appearance, actor Aamir Khan paid a laudable tribute to the dancing star, who has not been keeping in good health and was seated on a wheel chair. He received the honour from his former producers Shakti Samanta and Lekh Tandon even as a full house at the Godrej Theatre with a large number of Bollywood celebrities gave him a standing ovation.

Volunteers of Osian’s Connoisseurs of Art stood around with large-size posters of several of Kapoor’s popular films as he was felicitated. Accepting the honour, Kapoor said he had also been overwhelmed when he earlier went around an exhibition of photographs and posters from his life and films, many of which he confessed he did not possess. But he said he owed this honour to the film fraternity which had given him so much love, adding: "It also belongs to Mohammed Rafi, without whom I am incomplete."

In his tribute, Khan said among cheers "I feel Elvis Presley was America’s answer to Shammi Kapoor." He added that the mark of a good actor was the belief with which he gave a shot, and "Shammi Uncle has done this always." He quoted the script writer Salim to say acting was like the relationship between the ‘aashiq’ (lover) and the ‘mashooq’ (the loved one) and Kapoor had always paid full attention as a lover does to his loved one.’ He is truly a person who lives in the moment. He was always a star, but least bothered about his stardom when enacting a scene, he added. "Unfortunately, even I am often too aware of being a celebrity while performing."

Mr Neville Tuli, founder and Chairman of Osian’s Connoisseurs of Art, said though he had been brought up overseas, he had fallen in love with India thanks to Indian cinema – which he described as the greatest cultural heritage of this country - and stars like Shammi Kapoor. He said that the decision to have a two-day event in Mumbai before the main one in Delhi was because Cinefan totally has a place in Bollywood.

Referring to Osian’s, he said it was attempting to inculcate its aesthetic responsibility in developing a different kind of sensibility as far as cinema went, since art was the greatest form of knowledge and wealth came out of that knowledge. He said the proposed OSIANAMA – the multi-arts complex being built at the venue where the Minerva theatre once stood - was part of that. He said getting the property would have been difficult since there were nine owners, but it had become easier since Shammi Kapoor was one of them. The intent was to unite the intelligentsia as ‘we share a common value system and develop it’.

A large-size model of the proposed seven-section OSIANAMA was unveiled for the first time on stage. It will house two screens apart from a large Debating House for meaningful discussion on cinema. In addition, it will have Osian’s Film House, Archives, and offices for its other activities.

He then called upon stage the various celebrities present in the auditorium to sign on a sign board which would be placed at OSIANAMA. They include Samanta, Tandon, Kapoor, Saeed Mirza, Sai Paranjpye, Kamini Kaushal, Basu Chatterjee, Kiran Shantaram, Shyam Benegal, Aruna Vasudev, Vijaya Mehta, Siddharth Kak, Krishna Shah and Nayantara Sehgal. The stars also lit a lamp to mark the start of the event.

Earlier, the programme commenced with a short film about the nine festivals held until now and also a clip on Shammi Kapoor.

Aruna Vasudev who founded the Cinefan’s Festival in Delhi in 1999 said she had initiated the Festival since few in India knew much about Asian cinema. She drew immense satisfaction from the fact that it had developed so well and had now passed on to people who could take it further.

Joint Director Latika Padgaonkar said it was notable that both the film quarterly Cinemaya founded by Vasudev and the Festival initiated by her were run by all-women teams. Joint Director Indu Shrikent noted that Mumbai was the place where the heart of cinema ‘beats and bounces’.

The evening concluded with the world premiere of the Hindi film ‘Mukhbir’ (The Informer) directed by Mani Shankar, who was presented along with his cast and crew including the main actor Sameer Dattani, Raj Zutshi, and Kelly Dorji. The film also stars Jackie Shroff, Suniel Shetty, Aloke Nath, and Raima Sen.

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