Speaking to the media at the 54th IFFI held in Goa, famous Hollywood actor, and filmmaker Michael Douglas said that India, under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Shri Anurag Singh Thakur, has been investing more money in the production of films in the last few years. Michael Douglas will be honored with the prestigious Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement Award at the closing ceremony of the 54th IFFI tomorrow.
The iconic actor also said that this is the best time for the Indian cinema industry, and being represented over 78 other countries at the 54th IFFI is a reflection of its strength. He said, “Indian films are famous all over the world and are increasingly traveling to different corners of the world. “Streaming platforms are playing an important role in this growth.”
Highlighting the role of films in uniting the world, Douglas said that films share the same language and bring us closer. He said, “Audiences around the world can understand what is going on in the films. Movies make this international connection. That's the magic, beauty, and joy of this industry and why I love this business so much.”
Sharing his joy about being honored with the Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement Award, the two-time Academy Award winner said that it is a tremendous honor to receive this prestigious award. Recalling his college days, he candidly revealed that he had studied Satyajit Ray's works like 'Pather Panchali' and 'Charulata' in his film course and to have an award in his name is typical. “Ray's photographs were very interesting and portrayed reality,” he said. Ray's greatness is that he was not only a director but also a writer, film editor, and composer.
Praising the success of the Indian film 'RRR' at the Oscars, Michael Douglas said that it is a great achievement for India and will boost confidence and encourage the industry to make more such big films.
Acclaimed American actor and filmmaker, about his father Kirk Douglas, the five-time Golden Globe Award winner said that it took a very long time for him to step out of his father's shadow. He candidly shares, “In the initial phase of my career, I was playing soft kind of roles. People used to compare me with my father. Winning an Academy Award nomination for the film Wall Street was a tremendous moment. This was recognition from my peers.”
Michael Douglas reiterated his preference for content over budget, clarifying that content is the most important thing for him when selecting a film. “I would love something that moves me emotionally,” he said. I would rather play a small role in a good film than play a big role in a bad film.” Commenting on his plans to venture into Indian film, Douglas said that producer Shailendra Singh is working on a script outline that interests him.
Michael Douglas' wife and multi-award-winning actress Catherine Zeta-Jones also joined the media to interact. Catherine said that India is very dear to her heart and family. She shared a personal connection to India, telling the story of an Indian doctor who saved her life when she was 18 months old.
The BAFTA award-winning actress also revealed her love for Indian films and expressed interest in being a part of Bollywood films. Talking about Indian films she said, “The Lunchbox is one of my favorite Indian films. I watched it twice in a row. The film really touched my heart.” she also shared her fondness for the Bollywood film 'Om Shanti Om', which she has watched many times with her family and friends.
National Award-winning producer and founder of Percept Limited, Shailendra Singh was also present on the occasion. Reflecting on his 25-year-long journey in the film business, he said, "Life is incomplete without cinema."
Cinematographer: Ramakant Munde Mumbai