Internationally acclaimed director of path-breaking Indian films like Ankur, Nishant, Manthan and Bhumika, Shyam Benegal has won innumerable National Awards in a stellar career spanning almost five decades. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1991, the third highest civilian honour in the country and was the recipient of the Dadasaheb Phalke Lifetime Achievement award in 2005. He was nominated as a Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament in 2006.
Jaya Bachchan has had a remarkable career as an actress beginning with her eponymous role in the film Guddi in 1971. She went on to win several acting awards over the next five decades for her work in milestone films like Koshish, Kora Kaagaz, Abhimaan, Chupke Chupke and Sholay. She has been awarded the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award, by the Government of India. She is currently a Member of Parliament in the Rajya Sabha who believes that it is imperative to protect our cinematic heritage.
A protégé of Ritwik Ghatak, who assisted Robert Bresson on a film, Kumar Shahani is a critically acclaimed avant garde filmmaker who won a National Award in 1972 for his first film. Maya Darpan, was considered a seminal work of the Parallel Cinema movement in India. His film Khayal Gatha won the prestigious FIPRESCI prize at the Rotterdam International Film Festival in 1989 and Kasba won the Filmfare Award for Best Film (Critics) in 1990. He is known for his lush visual explorations of Indian music and dance, art forms and the
classical Indian epic.
Gian Luca Farinelli
Gian Luca Farinelli has been the director of the Cineteca di Bologna since 2000. He oversaw the creation of the first Italian film restoration school L’Immagine Ritrovata, funded by the European Union, and the inception of the restoration lab by the same name. The lab has been active since 1992 and works today with major film archives around the world. Since that time he has been recognized internationally as one of the most important film restoration experts. He played a leading role in the creation of the Association des Cinémathèques Européennes. He has been the director of Bureau Recherche des films perdus, a research project promoted by European film archives for retrieving lost films around the world. So far the project has identified over six hundred films belonging to European film heritage.
Mark Cousins is an Irish director, writer and film critic best known for his epic 15-hour documentary on the history of film titled The Story of Film: An Odyssey. In 2009 he and actress Tilda Swinton created a travelling independent film festival, mounting a 33.5-tonne portable cinema on a large truck and travelling around the Scottish Highlands screening films. His critically acclaimed 2013 documentary A Story of Film and Children exploring the portrayal of children in film was screened in the Cannes Classic Section.
Writer, director, poet and lyricist, Gulzar’s versatility and accomplishment span the gamut of the world of cinema. Early in his career he wrote much-loved films like Anand and Bawarchi. As a filmmaker, he made Aandhi, Mausam, Angoor and Namkeen that are acknowledged as classics of Indian cinema. He is considered one of the finest contemporary lyricists in the industry today. His awards are legion including the Padma Bhushan, the Dadasaheb Phalke Lifetime Achievement Award and several National Awards besides an Academy Award and a Grammy Award for his lyrics in Slumdog Millionaire.
P. K. Nair
Legendary film archivist and founder of the National Film Archive of India (NFAI), P.K. Nair is a true cinephile. He established the NFAI in 1964 and in a 27- year career, he built it can by can in a country where film archiving and preservation is considered unimportant. The fact that we have anything left at all of our cinematic history is thanks to his efforts. He continues to be a leading advocate for the cause of film preservation and restoration in the country.
Winner of 13 National Awards, filmmaker Girish Kasaravalli, is a luminary of the Kannada film industry. His debut feature film Ghatashraddha (1977) got him his first National Award and was the only Indian film to be chosen by the National Archive of Paris amongst 100 films selected for the cinema centenary celebration in
2002. His films Tabarana Kathe (1986), Thaayi Saheba (1997), and Dweepa (2002) all won the National Award for Best Feature Film. In 2011, he was awarded the Padma Shri, award, by the Government of India.
Krzysztof Zanussi is a film director, producer and scriptwriter. Director of many award-winning, internationally acclaimed films (awarded in Cannes, Venice, Locarno, Moscow, Chicago, Montreal, Berlin, Tokyo): The Structure of Crystal (1968), Illumination (1973), Camouflage (1976), Constant Factor (1980). He is the President of Tor Film Production that produced the films of Krzysztof Kieślowski, Agnieszka Holland amongst others. He is also a theatre director staging productions all around the world and has authored several
books. He is a Member of the European Film Academy Board and the Pontifical Commission of Culture at the Vatican.