Shabana Azmi’s 50-year cinematic journey will be celebrated at the upcoming New York Indian Film Festival, which will showcase a wide array of films from the Indian subcontinent. The festival, now in its 24th edition, is considered North America’s longest-running and most prestigious Indian film festival, featuring 49 narrative, documentary, and short films starring renowned actors such as Amitabh Bachchan and Naseeruddin Shah.

In honor of Azmi’s five decades in Indian and international cinema, a special event will be held at the festival featuring the screening of her 1996 film Fire, directed by Deepa Mehta. Azmi, who has received five National Film Awards and international acclaim for her performances, will be present at the event to reflect on her remarkable journey from her debut in Ankur to her recent roles in films like Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani and Ghoomer.

Beyond her acting achievements, Azmi is known for her dedication to social activism, particularly for women’s rights and the underprivileged. With over 140 Hindi films and 12 international productions to her name, including Midnight’s Children and The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Azmi’s legacy as a trailblazer in Indian cinema is unparalleled.

The festival, presented by the Indo-American Arts Council, will open with the film Dear Jassi, directed by Tarsem Singh, known for his work with Hollywood stars like Jennifer Lopez and Julia Roberts. Closing the festival will be the film Mrs, starring Sanya Malhotra and directed by Arati Kadav. This year’s NYIFF promises to be a celebration of Indian cinema, showcasing both established talents and emerging filmmakers.

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