Actor Michael Douglas / Image - Ministry of Information & Broadcasting
Legendary American actor and film producer Michael Douglas was awarded the Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement Award at the closing ceremony of 54th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) 2023 on November 28, 2023.
Addressing the media earlier along with his wife and actor Catherine Zeta-Jones, the 79-year-old said emphasized this is the best time for Indian cinema industry, and the representation of over 78 foreign countries in IFFI 54 is the reflection of its strength.
“Indian films are renowned all around the world and are travelling more and more to various corners of the world. Streaming platforms are playing an important part in this growth”, he added.
Sharing his joy on being awarded the prestigious, the two-time Academy award winner said that it is a tremendous honour to receive this prestigious award. Recollecting his college days, he shared that he had studied the works of Satyajit Ray, like Pather Panchali and Charulata, in his film course and getting an award named after him is special.
“Ray’s pictures were so interesting and they portrayed reality. The greatness of Ray is that he was not only a director, but also a writer, film editor, musician, all at the same time,” he reminisced.
Highlighting the role of movies in uniting the world, Douglas said that movies share same language and brings us closer together. “The audience from all around the world can understand what is going on in movies. Movies create this international connection,” he quoted.
Douglas took the opportunity to appreciate Indian film RRR’s success in Oscars and said that it is a spectacular achievement for India and it will boost confidence and encourage industry to craft many more such big films. He mentioned that India is investing more money into production of movies in the last few years.
Speaking about his growth, Douglas, the five-time Golden Globe Award winner said that stepping out of his father Kirk Douglas’s shadow took a very long time. "People used to compare me with my father. Winning Academy award nomination for the movie Wall Street was a tremendous moment. It was a validation received from my peers”, he shared.
Reinforcing his liking for content than budget, the actor clarified that while selecting a film, material is the most important thing for him. On his plans of venturing in Indian film, he remarked that producer Shailendra Singh is working on an outline of the script in which he is interested.
Shailendra Singh, the National Award-winning producer and founder of Percept Ltd., was also present on the occasion. He remarked that “life is incomplete without cinema,” reflecting on his long journey of 25 years in the film business.