Receiving the award from Bollywood director Ramesh Sippy, Bachchan thanked Kiran Shantaram, chairman, Asian Film Foundation for selecting him for the award.
“I am most grateful to Kiran Shantaram, who has an old association with me for many, many years, has given me the opportunity to receive this award and the love and affection of the people present here,” Bachchan said.
Bachchan started his career in 1969 with director Khwaja Ahmad Abbas’ film “Saat Hindustani”.
“I have looked upon my career of 40 years in this wonderful industry as a great opportunity to be able to represent my creativity and my art, but more importantly to project our cinema to the other parts of the world. I feel very honoured to be here at an organisation that conducts this activity so that the rest of the world come to learn more about our culture, our films,” he said.
His oeuvre ranges from rib-tickling comedies to tearjerkers to subtle, nuanced performances in art-house films.
Bachchan emphasized that Indian cinema has been the one unifying force between the people from diverse castes, creeds, cultures, religions and languages.
“In a country that is so diverse as India is with different castes, creeds, religions, cultures and languages, that perhaps the one unifying force that brings all these people together under one roof has been the Indian cinema. We never ask the person sitting next to me whether the person is a Hindu, Muslim or Sikh. We laugh at the same jokes, we sing the same songs, we cry at the same emotions. I think that perhaps this cinema house is the greatest example of integration you can find anywhere in the world,” said Bachchan.
The Dec 4-10 8th Asian Film Festival would feature 75 films from 24 Asian countries.
Amitabh Bachchan’s son Abhishek was also present on the occasion.