Nandita bestowed with one of the highest civilian awards of France

Updated: Apr 16, 2011, 09:48 AM IST

New Delhi: Critically acclaimed actress-turned-director Nandita Das has been conferred with the Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters, one of the highest civilian awards of France, for her contribution to the development of Indo-French cooperation in cinema.

The actress, known for her performances in films like "Fire", "Earth" and "Bawander", Friday received the award from French Ambassdor Jerome Bonnafont.

Looking stunning in a pink saree, she said: "Every time I receive an award it brings an element of surprise. It makes me feel fortunate to get recognised for the work that I love doing.

"I had received the letter three years back, but somehow due to commitments, the ceremony got so delayed. But I feel more than happy today because I have my eight-month-old son also in my arms, who saw his mom getting the honour.

After staying in front of the camera and proving her mettle as an actress, Nandita went behind the camera in 2008 to direct "Firaaq", a political thriller on the aftermath of the 2002 Gujarat riots.

Nandita also received recognition at the film festivals of Santa Monica (2001), Cairo (2002), and Madrid (2007). In 2005, she served as a jury member at the Cannes Film Festival.

The informal gathering comprised of Nandita`s near and dear ones, her family and friends.

The ceremony didn`t let her stay away from her son. She was spotted cuddling and playing around with him.