Amitabh Bachchan, Javed Akhtar felicitated

Some of Indian cinema’s biggest icons, including Amitabh Bachchan , lyricist Javed Akhtar and musician Pyarelal were Thursday felicitated for their contribution to Indian cinema on the occasion of opening ceremony of the 9th International Film Festival of Mumbai.

The festival organised by the Mumbai Academy of Moving Images in association with National Films Development Corporation was inaugurated by director Yash Chopra and opened with the screening of Chinese film “Curse of the Golden Flower”.

On the occasion, the Academy felicitated mega superstar Bachchan with a “Special Award to salute Indian cinema’s Global Icon” which he received from Tina Ambani.

Thanking the people for supporting him “through thick and thin”, Bachchan said “there have been times when I was unable to stand on my own feet but it is the prayer of the people that I have managed to do so. I would like to thank them.”

Remembering the first chairman of the Academy, film-maker Hrishikesh Mukherjee , to whom the festival is dedicated this year, Bachchan said “he was like a godfather to Jaya and me. He was a very simple man with simple habits but he had great ideas. We miss him here today.”

Javed Akhtar was felicitated with a Lifetime Achievement Award while composer Pyarelal was felicitated for his Outstanding Achievement in Music.

Over 100 films from 32 countries will feature in this year’s edition of the festival with a special retrospective of Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s films as well as on Spanish cinema. The festival will also have a special focus on film from South Africa.

The weeklong festival concludes on March 15 with the screening of Mira Nair ‘s The Namesake .