Amitabh Bachchan: Bollywood
legend gets Asia’s Lifetime
Achievement award

Reuters/Bobby Yip

Everyone gave a standing ovation when Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan came to the stage to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award during the 4th Asian Film Awards ceremony.

For Bachchan, dubbed as “the man who defines Bollywood”, the AFA award at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center in Hong Kong on Monday night. is the 9th Lifetime Achievement Award he has collected from various organizations in the course of his career.

Of course, he has received many other awards for his outstanding contribution to the film industry and cultural development, including national honors from various governments and institutions.

In his acceptance speech, Bachchan said the award not only recognized his achievements but also those of his nation. “I am humbled to receive this award,” said Bachchan, 67.

“The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes film professionals whose works have made a lasting impact of outstanding artistic, cultural and commercial significance to the cinema,” said Shaw Soo Wei, executive director of the Hong Kong International Film Festival Society.

“No one is more deserving to receive this award than the legendary Amitabh Bachchan,” Shaw said.

Last year, the AFA Lifetime Achievement Award went to Japanese director Yamada Yoji.

Bachchan has entertained Asian and international audiences for over four decades, starting in 1969 with a role in Saat Hindustan. Four years later, he played a leading character in Zanjeer, which achieved box office success. He soon established a name himself playing roles of an “angry young man”.

A total of 14 awards and three special awards were presented during the glamorous ceremony Monday night, which Italian fashion designer Donatella Versace and distinguished guests from the film industry in the region also attended.

Chinese movie director Zhang Zimou received the Asian Film Award for Outstanding Contribution to Asian Cinema and John Woo the Asian Film Award for the 2009’s Top Grossing Film Director.

Zhang, initially known as a passionate drama movie director, later developed an interest in other genres. His 1992 film The Story of Qiu Ju won the Golden Lion at the 1993 Venice Film Festival. He received another Golden Lion in 1999 at Venice for his film Not One Less. In 1995, he took home the Grand Jury Prize in Cannes for his movie To Live.

But Zhang is most remembered for the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games where he combined rich Chinese culture and landmark technology.

Meanwhile, John Woo, who directed Red Cliff and Red Cliff II, two box office movies adapted from the 14th century epic Romance of the Three Kingdoms made a name for himself for directing Hollywood blockbusters Face/Off and Mission Impossible II.

The Asian Film Awards are presented annually by the Hong Kong International Film Festival Society to recognize excellence in the Asian film industry.

It is one of nine events in the 6th Entertainment Expo Hong Kong, also coined as Asia’s multimedia extravaganza.

The other events include the Hong Kong International Film Festival, Hong Kong International Film and TV Market, Hong Kong Film Awards, Hong Kong-Asia Film Financing Forum, Hong Kong Music Fair, Hong Kong Top Sales Music Award, Hong Kong Independent Short Film Video Award and Digital Entertainment Leadership Forum.

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