Deepti Naval honoured with Excellence in Cinema Award at MAMI festival

Veteran actor Deepti Naval was honoured with the Excellence in Cinema Award at the opening ceremony of the 21st Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival with Star on Thursday night.

She was presented the award by filmmaker Vishal Bharadwaj and actor Deepika Padukone.

"I am quite nervous, I am overwhelmed with this award. I am grateful to Jio MAMI Mumbai festival for giving me this honour," Naval, who got a standing ovation from the audience, said after receiving the award. 

Quoting from Naval's poetry, Bharadwaj said, "When you feel like saying a lot of things that time too do not feel like saying anything." 

Naval made her acting debut with "Junoon" in 1978. In her career spanning over 40 years, she has acted in more than 60 films. Some of her iconic films include "Kamla", "Chashme Baddoor", "Mirch Masala", "Rang Birangi", "Firaaq", "Leela" and "Memories in March".

She was last seen in Zoya Akhtar's web-series "Made In Heaven".

The 20th Jio Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI) Mumbai Film Festival began Thursday night and was attended by Bollywood celebrities like Deepika, Bhardwaj, Karan Johar, Taapsee Pannu, Kiran Rao, Nandita Das, Sudhir Mishra, Tannishtha Chatterjee and others.

Isha Ambani said she was attending on the behalf of her mother, Nita Ambani, who co-chairs the Jio MAMI festival. 

"The partnership stems from our own belief that we should do whatever we can to preserve our rich culture and heritage. This is more special as we see deepening our relationship by bringing in Reliance Foundation. I truly believe the reach and power of our films and film actors for a strong voice in society," she said.

"I am proud to announce that starting next year we will have Reliance Foundation Awards for best films on social issues. The award will recognise cinema that explores social causes and delivers a strong societal message. This will be a year-long engagement for us and I am looking forward to seeing the impact," Isha said.

The eight-day festival boasts of over 190 films, including over 50 debuts, 13 world premieres, spanning 53 countries and 49 diverse languages.

Filmmaker Geetu Mohandas' much-awaited and acclaimed Malayalam drama "Moothon" (The Elder One) was the opening film of the festival and "Saand Ki Aankh" starring Taapsee Pannu and Bhumi Pednekar will be the last film to be screened.

The festival will screen some of the best international films like James Gray's space drama "Ad Astra", starring Brad Pitt in a critically lauded performance, Alma Har'el's "Honey Boy", "The Souvenir" by British filmmaker Joanna Hogg, British filmmaker Ken Loach's "Sorry We Missed You", "The Irishman", "Marriage Story", "The Two Popes", "Bikram: Yogi, Guru, Predator" and others.