IFFI 2021: Istvan Szabo and Martin Scorsese honoured with Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement Award

The much-awaited 52nd edition of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) commenced with an opening ceremony at the Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Indoor Stadium, in Panaji, Goa, on November 20, 2021. The opening ceremony of the festival was grand as Governor of Goa P S Sreedharan Pillai; Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Anurag Singh Thakur; Chief Minister of Goa, Dr. Pramod Sawant; and Union Minister of State, Information and Broadcasting, L. Murugan were in attendance. Bollywood celebrities like Salman Khan, Ranveer Singh, Ritesh Deshmukh, Genelia Deshmukh and Shraddha Kapoor lit the stage with their performances. 

Marking the beginning of the nine-day film festival, the organisers felicitated two renowned personalities with the prestigious Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement Award for their excellence in international cinema. Hungarian film director Istvan Szabo and American film director, producer, screenwriter and actor Martin Scorsese received the award and attended IFFI virtually. The two giants of international cinema accepted the Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement Award and gave a speech through video calls. 

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In his speech, Istvan Szabo said, "I am deeply moved to realize the fact that Indians know my films and some of them even love it." He further remembered meeting Mr. Ray over 30 years ago in the then Madras. He added, "Ray invited me and my wife for dinner, which was excellent. We had a fantastic discussion on his films and film-making, our profession. It was a profound discussion that I will never forget."

Martin Scorsese shared, "I am honored to receive such an award named after one of the truly great filmmakers of all time and my inspiration, Satyajit Ray. I have returned to Ray’s work over and over again and every time I watch his movies, it becomes a whole new experience. Watching Pather Panchali was a revelatory experience for me and it opened a whole new world for me."

Mr. Scorsese remembered how Mr. Ray's films inspired him in the making of the music of his own films. “I showed Pather Panchali to my daughter at a young age, it has made a great impact on how she perceives the world and other cultures around the world," he added. 

(Source: Inputs from PIB official website)