New Delhi, July 2 (IANS) National Award-winning filmmaker Sudhir Mishra on Friday said that veteran actor Nasseruddin Shah is one of the reasons because of which he decided to join the entertainment industry. He believes that without the “Waiting” actor, parallel cinema in India wouldn’t have been possible.
Nasseruddin was the special guest at the inaugural ceremony of the 7th Jagran Film Festival here at the Sri Fort Auditorium on Friday.
While introducing him on stage, Mishra said: “I have been waiting for this moment all my life… What can one say about this man, Naseeruddin Shah. When I was a kid and studying in a small town called Sagar we came without ticket to Delhi to see a play (of Shah) called ‘Paanchwan Sawaar’, written and directed by Balraj Pandit.
“One of the reasons why I came to Mumbai is sitting right in front of me. Parallel cinema wouldn’t have been possible without Naseeruddin Shah. Without people like him, you cannot define how cinema of the 1970s and 1980s emerged.
“Actors like him introduced the term ‘parallel cinema’ with their craft. I remember times when there were films produced by NFDC and Naseeruddin Shah. Many of the films that we saw in earlier times were because of his passion and his love for the craft. After seeing him we can say that this is India at its best,” Mishra, who has directed films like “Chameli” and “Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi”, added.
Filmmaker Ketan Mehta, who was also present at the ceremony, said: “In my humble earnest opinion, I really believe that Naseer is truly the first modern actor of Indian cinema. I believe that the entire next generation of actors have derived so much from his passion, craft, skill and his love for what he is doing. I feel that we haven’t acknowledged him enough.”
The seventh edition of the festival will witness a retrospective on Naseeruddin Shah’s five acclaimed films including “Waiting”, “Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyon Aata Hai” and “Monsoon Wedding”.
The five-day Delhi leg of the film festival will showcase 105 films from India and abroad including “Paanch”, “Waiting”, “Aligarh”, “Natsamrat”, “Talvar”, “Monsoon Wedding” (US), “Zoe” (Spain), “Oedipus King” (Argentina), “Utopia, An Adult’s Fairy Tale” (Greece), “Hear The Silence” (Germany) and “The Surprise (Italy) among others.
With Cuba being the focus country of the festival, this year nine Cuban films will be screened which will highlight the evolution of cinema there right from its inception in 1897 to the present time.
After its Delhi leg, which will conclude on July 5, the festival will travel to different cities like Kanpur, Lucknow, Allahabad, Varansi, Agra, Meerut, Dehradun, Hisar, Ludhiana, Patna, Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Raipur, Indore, and Bhopal. The final leg of the festival will take place in Mumbai.