Mumbai: Veteran writer-lyricist Javed Akhtar and his actress-wife Shabana Azmi will be honoured at the Singapore South Asian Film Festival (SAIFF), the first edition of which will begin on September 1 in Singapore.
Shabana will be honoured with the South Asian Woman of the Year and Javed with the South Asian Literary Award. Actor Abhay Deol will receive the South Asian Icon of the Year, read a statement issued on behalf of the event’s organisers.
The gala, which will conclude on September 10, will host a red carpet world premiere of “Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyun Aata Hai”, starring Nandita Das and Manav Kaul, and directed by Soumitra Ranade.
Special screenings will be held of Afghani director Siddiq Barmak’s “Osama”, which was awarded the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Film, Leena Yadav’s “Parched”, Singaporean director K. Rajagopal’s much-acclaimed “A Yellow Bird”, Adoor Gopalakrishnan’s “Once Again” and a much-anticipated Bengali film “Roktokorobi” by young Bangladeshi director Amitabh Bhattacharya.
The festival showcases 40 feature films, shorts and documentaries from India, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Nepal and Bangladesh as well as special screenings from Singapore.
Apart from screenings, SAIFF will have world premieres, screenings, workshops, award ceremonies, panel discussions, master classes and music performances.
Abhayanand Singh, Festival Chairman, said: “The festival is a landmark initiative showcasing for the first time in the city South Asian cinema of such scale and quality. We wish to make a big impact and become a significant cultural gateway in the years to come.
“Through the powerful medium of cinema, we hope to build closer ties between the global city of Singapore and the developing nations of South Asia.”
Amit Aggarwal, Artistic Director of SAIFF, said: “The challenge and drive in selecting films for the Singapore SAIFF was to create a program that is truthful to the exciting new voices and stories which richly bring out the complexities of South Asia.”