Gulzar receives Excellence in Cinema Award

London: After clinching an Oscar for his song `Jai Ho`, Gulzar has now been honoured with an `Excellence in Cinema Award` for his outstanding contributions as a filmmaker, lyricist, script and story writer.

Receiving the award from India`s High Commissioner to UK Nalin Surie, at a packed Nehru Centre here, the 74-year-old said "I really feel honoured."

Gulzar received an Academy award last year for best Original song with music composer A R Rahman for the film `Slumdog Millionaire`.

In his brief address, the High commissioner said, "My generation grew up on your songs and films. The world discovered India with your Jai Ho, but Indians discovered you long ago. I am honouring a son of Punjab."

Gulzar not only was present to accept the award, but also stayed to answer queries from the audience.

"You have to learn and respect the present generation and walk with them. Over a period, the (film) theme has changed, vision has changed and the horizon has become global," said the veteran.

Replying to a question on his controversial film `Aandhi`, Gulzar said, "Certain section of the society overreacted to Aandhi. Cinema is just a reflection of the society. All fine arts are records, not reformer. I can only reflect the society."

The previous recipients of the Excellence award include filmmakers Adoor Gopalakrishnan, M S Sathyu, Saeed Akhtar Mirza and Girish Kasaravalli.

Lalit Mohan Joshi, Director of South Asian Cinema Foundation, said, "Gulzar is honoured for his overall historic contribution to popular Indian cinema."

A prolific filmmaker, Gulzar has directed a number of films. They range from whacky entertainers like `Angoor` and `Namkeen` and clean fun-filled cinema like `Parichay`, to politically provocative films that addressed real issues such as the rise of Sikh extremism in `Maachis` and the controversial `Aandhi` that was loosely based on former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.


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