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IFFI 2021: Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement Award recipients Martin Scorsese, Istvan Szabo reflect on how Ray influenced them personally

Both were unable to accept the prize in person, but they sent heartfelt video tributes to acknowledge their presence. 

Aishwarya Vasudevan
Nov 21, 2021
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At the inaugural event of the 52nd International Film Festival of India (IFFI), held on Saturday in Goa, the Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to two living titans of modern cinema, Hollywood filmmaker Martin Scorsese and Hungarian auteur Istvan Szabo. Both were unable to accept the prize in person, but they sent heartfelt video tributes to acknowledge their presence. The Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement Award was only named after him this year by the IFFI. 

In his address, Szabo paid a particular tribute to Satyajit Ray, whose birth centennial is being commemorated this year. He remembered his first meeting with Ray, which took place in Madras more than 30 years ago.

Szabo recalled that Ray asked his wife and him for supper, which was great. He also shared that they had a terrific conversation about his work and filmmaking, which is their field. Szabo said that it was a thought-provoking conversation that he would never forget.

The auteur was very moved while accepting the award to find that Indians recognise his films and some of them even enjoy them.

Szabo was a remarkable artist who attained international acclaim in 1981 with his film Mephisto. It was Hungary's first Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film. His films transcended language barriers and touched the hearts of audiences all across the world.

Meanwhile, in his greeting, Scorsese also paid tribute to Ray. The legendary filmmaker called Ray one of the directors whose work he had come back to time and time again throughout his life. He added that every time he sees his films, it's a whole new experience.

In his speech, Scorsese thanked and also expressed his gratitude to Satyajit Ray and the Indian film industry. He was deeply sad that he was not able to attend in person, and thanked me from the bottom of my heart for this honour. Scorsese also revealed that in 1996, he was in Goa and that he would like to return.

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