This year’s Bashir Award, given by Qatar-based Pravasi Doha, is to be presented to acclaimed film director Adoor Gopalakrishnan in September in Kochi.
Gopalakrishnan’s famous films include Swayamvaram (1972), Elipathayam, Vidheyan, Kodiyettam, Mukhamukham, Nizhalkuthu, Anantharam and Mathilukal.
He is the recipient of the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2004 and has also received over 40 national and international awards, including British Film Institute award for Elipathayam (1981).
His films have been screened in international film festivals in Cannes, Berlin, London, Toronto and Rotterdam.
The annual Bashir Award was instituted by Pravasi Doha, a socio-cultural and literary organisation established in Qatar 23 years ago, and Kerala-based Pravasi Trust. The award is named after leading Malayalam writer, the late Vaikkom Mohamed Bashir.
Gopalakrishna was selected for the award by a committee comprising writer, script writer and director M T Vasudevan Nair (chairman and chief patron), Prof M A Rahman, Babu Mather, K K Sudhakaran and P Shemzuddin, founder members of Pravasi Doha, and C V Rappai, former chairman of Pravasi Doha.
Anees Bashir, son of Vaikkom Mohamed Bashir, made the announcement of this year’s award recipient at a press conference in Kozhikode. The press conference was attended by K S Venkitachalam, literary critic.
The award committee lauded the contributions Gopalakrishn for his outstanding contributions to the Malayalam cinema in general and the Indian film cinema in particular. “He had set a hitherto unknown trend in Malayalam cinema deviating from the conventional commercial formulas and style in filmmaking,” the award committee observed.
The award carries a cash prize of Rs50, 000.00, a statuette sculptured by artist Namboodiri and a citation.
Pravsi Doha will also present at the award-giving ceremony the Prof M N Vijayan endowment scholarship of Rs15, 000 to a brilliant student who needs financial support to pursue studies.
Former recipients of the Bashir Award include former Kerala chief minister E M Sankaran Namboodirippad, musicians Njeralath Ramapoduval, Sarachandra Marathey, actors Madhu, Balan K Nair, Nilambur Ayisha, writers Kovilan, V K N, poets Sugatha Kumari, Kadammanitta, literary critics Dr M Leelavathi, Prof M K Sanoo, writer and scholar Dr U R Anantha Murthi, architect Laurie Baker, writer in English language Dr Ronad E Asher, environmentalist Leelakumari Amma, social reformer and freedom fighter M R B, playwright ad director K T Mohammed and leading oncologist Dr V P Gangadharan.
Pravasi Doha has been organising Indian and international film festivals in Qatar since 1996 besides conducting literary lecturers and cultural programmes.
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