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PIFF 2018 closing ceremony: Veteran filmmaker Rajdutt receives Distinguished Award for 'Outstanding Cinema'

The director of films like Shapit (1982) and Are Sansar Sansar (1981) was overwhelmed to receive the award and gave a lovely speech on the occasion. 

Suparna Thombare

Veteren filmmaker, Rajdutt, who has made iconic films like Are Sansar Sansar (1981), Shapit (1982) and Maphicha Sakshidar (1986), among others, was presented with the Distinguished Award for 'Outstanding Cinema' at the closing ceremony of the 16th Pune International Film Festival (PIFF) held on 18 January.

The director was felicitated by Nitin Gadre, chief secretary, Tourism and Culture Department of Government of Maharashtra and Dr Jabbar Patel, director, PIFF.

Rajdutt has made 28 films and was one of the most successful and acclaimed filmmakers of Marathi cinema in the 1970s and 1980s. He has won national awards for his films Shapit, Pudhcha Paul (1986) and Sarja (1987).

The 85-year-old, who was known for making family and relationship-oriented films, looked visibly overwhelmed and moved as he took to stage to receive the award. In his acceptance speech, the director recalled how Raja Paranjpe's film had a huge impact on him as a youngster. 

"It was impossible for a college-going youngster in Vidarbha to even imagine that he would be part of cinema. I was lucky that few years later, I held the hand of the same man, Raja bhau Paranjape, who had moved me with his film. I was the sixth assistant to him on the film Jagachya Pathivar (1960). I remember going with him to the premiere of the film at Mumbai's Plaza. We went together from Pune to Mumbai and he was very anxious. Before this, he had delivered 15 consecutive silver jubilee hits, and still he felt butterflies in his stomach for the 16th film. This mind set is very important. To understand that if we have managed one success it does not mean that the audience will like the next, and that what we are trying to say will reach them or not," Rajdutt said.

He credited Raja Paranjape, GD Madgulkar and Sudhir Phadke, the directors of Marathi cinema's golden era, for influencing him. "I got to be in their presence, learn from them and I grew up in their shadow," he said.

Acknowledging the change in films and filmmaking techniques, the veteran concluded his speech saying he felt grateful his works from the 1970s and 1980s is even recognized and appreciated today: "Times changes, technology changes and filmmaking methods change. I feel like over the years the industry has distanced me from itself. And so, at this stage, receiving this award for my previous work has given me some energy. Thank you for giving me so much happiness and enthusiasm once again."

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Pune International Film Festival