Pune: As veteran and award-winning singer SP Balasubrahmanyam sang a famous song from SD Burman’s composition followed by ‘Ek Duje Ke Liye’ and ‘Saagar’, the entire house couldn’t help but cheer and clap.
Balasubrahmanyam along with filmmaker Ramesh Sippy and Ramesh Prasad, film producer, Chairman and Head of Prasad Studios were honoured with the ‘PIFF Distinguished Award’ at the inauguration of 16th Pune International Film Festival (PIFF). The festival was inaugurated at City Pride, Kothrud on Thursday evening. The ceremony was also attended by Randhir Kapoor, Rajeev Kapoor and Rishi Kapoor and State Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar.
While welcoming the guests, Dr Jabbar Patel, festival director said, “We have received entries from 108 countries and only 14 films were selected by the jury for the competition section. Therefore 80 films which were otherwise not selected will be screened at the non-competition section. The Marathi competition will judged by an international jury who are watching the films with subtitles and have selected them for their visual impact.” He pointed out that the average age of their delegates is around 20 years and they are watching the world cinema.
Randhir Kapoor, while speaking about Pune and his father Raj Kapoor, said that his father’s heart was here in Pune. “He has shot so many of his films here including ‘Mera Naam Joker’, ‘Bobby’ and others.” The Kapoor brothers who gave the reels of their films to National Film Archives of India said they are happy the reels are in the right hands.
Balasubrahmanyam, after receiving the award, said, “I have sung in so many languages and every where I have been, even though I do not belong there, they have taken care of me. I pray God that I continue singing till the time I can. I am so grateful to get a chance to work with some of the finest composers.”
Ramesh Prasad, sharing the history of his father, said his father LV Prasad’s life was devoted to cinema.
After receiving the award, Ramesh Sippy said, “To make a beginning in the industry it’s not possible without the Kapoor family. My first film was with Shammi Kapoor (Andaz).” Speaking of Rishi who was also present on the stage and with whom he has worked in ‘Saagar’, he said, “He spoke so much through his eyes what lines could I tell my writers to write. It’s a small family and it’s a huge family. It’s been great working here in this industry, of course, with support of my father. I look back on all wonderful memories and the wonderful work that others have done. It makes me humble and proud to be part of the industry.”
The festival, which will continue till January 18, will screen some of the finest international, Indian and regional cinema.