Veteran actor Ashalata Wabgaonkar was today given a lifetime achievement award for her contribution to Marathi theatre and cinema.
Wabgaonkar was feted at the Goa Marathi Film Festival, which was inaugurated by Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar at Kala Academy here. Sixteen films would be screened at the festival. “Goa government will always encourage regional cinema, especially Konkani and Marathi. Goa Marathi Film Festival is a welcome attempt to showcase the best of cinema,” Parrikar said.
He admitted that his busy schedule makes it impossible for him to keep up with films, but assured full support to the organisers.
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Wabgaonkar choked with emotions after receiving the award. “I have completed 56 years in theatre and 36 years in the films, and my journey continues,” she said, adding Goa-based theatre artist Gopinath Sawakar was her guru, along with director Basu Chatterjee who introduced her in the Hindi film “Apne Paraye”.
The veteran actor said she left a secure job at Maharashtra Secretariat to pursue a career in films, and never regretted the decision. “The journey has been happy and satisfying,” she said. Her family traces its roots to Canacona village in Goa.
Abhijit Panse-directed “Rege”, which depicts the vulnerability of youngsters to the pull of the underworld and glamour, was the inaugural film. Mahesh Manjrekar, Pushkar Shrotri and other members of the film’s cast were present. Actor-producer Shreyas Talpade launched the first look of his film “Poshter Boyj”.
“Bioscope”, a compilation of four stories based on poems, directed respectively by Gajendra Ahire, Ravi Jadhav, Girish Mohite and Viju Mane, premiered today.