Mumbai Film Fest: Costa Gavras to Get Lifetime Award

Costa Gavras P

The Greece-born director – known for his political thrillers, including the Oscar-winning 'Z' - will be honored along with Indian actor and filmmaker Kamal Haasan.

NEW DELHI – The 15th Mumbai Film Festival -- to be held from Oct. 17-24 -- will honor acclaimed filmmaker Costa-Gavras with the lifetime achievement award. The Greece-born naturalized French director is best known for his political thrillers including Z, the 1969 best foreign language Oscar winner. The film was based on the 1966 novel of the same name by Greek author Vassilis Vassilikos. The book was also adapted for a 2012 Indian film version, Shanghai, directed by Dibakar Banerjee and starring actor Abhay Deol.

Gavras' acclaimed filmography includes Missing (1982) -- for which he won an Oscar for best adapted screenplay -- The Little Apocalypse (1993) and Amen (2002). Gavras has been conferred with a knighthood by the French government; and since 2007, he has been serving as the president of Cinémathèque Française, one of the world’s largest film archives.

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MFF is organized by the Mumbai Academy of Moving Images and this year's event is expected to screen over 200 films from 65 countries.

“When I think of Costa-Gavras, I am overwhelmed by the elegant, humanist films he has bequeathed to humanity, his gentle nudge to stand up and take a position as he did with his announcement for Z -- 'Any similarity to persons or events is deliberate,' he said. It is our good fortune that we will be receiving him at the Mumbai Film Festival and interacting with him for a whole week,” said MFF director Srinivasan Narayanan.

“We are honored to confer the lifetime achievement award to Costa-Gavras. His films have been loved and celebrated by millions of cinema lovers worldwide. We are humbled that he has agreed to receive this award,” said MAMI chairman and acclaimed filmmaker Shyam Benegal.

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Along with Gavras, iconic Indian actor-director Kamal Haasan will also be bestowed with the lifetime achievement award. Haasan recently completed 50 years as actor, director, writer, producer, singer, choreographer and lyricist. He has over 190 films to his credit, across genres and languages including Tamil, Hindi, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam. He is best known for his performances in critically-acclaimed and award-winning films such as Moondram Pirai (1982), Nayagan (1987) -- hailed as one of the best films of all time by Time magazine -- Pushpak (1987), Appu Raja (1989) and Hey Ram (2000). Haasan's various wins include three National Film Awards and one of the Indian government's highest honors, the Padma Shri.

“Kamal Haasan is a legend in every sense of the term. He is a writer, singer, director, lyricist and an actor par-excellence. We are extremely honored to present the lifetime achievement award to him,” added Benegal.

In the past, MFF has honored international icons like Chinese director Zhang Yimou and Oliver Stone with lifetime achievement awards.