Veteran actress Sharmila Tagore, who has been felicitated with "Excellence in Cinema" award in the opening ceremony of the 19th Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival, stated that to make meaningful cinema, filmmakers need an open environment and the freedom to express their thoughts.
She also shared her experience of balancing between Bengali and Hindi film industry, the films of Satyajit Ray and Hrishikesh Mukherjee.
Tagore said: "Mumbai makes me understand the plurality and diversity of our culture, at the same time the commonality that exists within that."
"For an actor the moment we live for, is between 'start sounds, to cut', and every member of the crew prepares us to live that moment. I would also like to add to make meaningful cinema, we need the open environment and absolute freedom to express thoughts."
The "Excellence in Cinema" award was presented to Sharmila by Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan and Neeta Ambani. The ceremony was hosted by actor Kunal Kapoor and Aditi Rao Hydari.
The evening was graced by Amruta Fadnavis, John Madden, Konkona Sensharma, Kabir Khan, Rajkummar Rao, Kabir Khan and Hansal Mehta besides others.
Iconic Chinese film director Chen Kaige was also felicitated with the "Excellence In Cinema (International) Award".
"I admire Indian cinema, it has become a cultural hub for India for many many years. I have developed an interest in Indian cinema and I think we can have more cultural exchange through cinema from both sides," Kaige said in a video message from China.
Anurag Kashyap's "Mukkabaaz" was screened as the opening film of the festival and it was the Asian premiere of the film.
This year, the festival is also conducting various workshops on film reviews, children's films, writers and distributors conversations among various activities.
Italian actress Monica Bellucci will be gracing the festival on October 15.
The film fest will continue until October 18.
(With IANS Inputs)