About In Conversation with Shabana Azmi
She made her debut in Shyam Benegal’s Ankur in 1974 and came to be recognised as the face of the parallel cinema in India. Simultaneously she also earned commercial success in mainstream cinema. Satyajit Ray has called her “The finest dramatic actress in the country.”
A highly acclaimed actress, Shabana Azmi has acted in more than 140 Hindi films and several International films. She has won the National Award for Best Actress five times with an unprecedented hat trick of three of those in a row. She has won several International Awards such as the Best Actress Award at Chicago Film Festival for Fire and Taormina Arte for Patang, Phnom Penh for Libaas, Toronto Reel World festival for Morning Raga. She has had countless retrospectives of her films, the most prestigious being at The New York Film Festival.
Shabana Azmi is also a very respected social activist and works for the rights of women, particularly the girl child, housing rights for slum dwellers, and is a vocal upholder of India’s secular liberal values.
She is the recipient of the International Gandhi Peace Prize, the Martin Luther King Rosa Parks Chavez award at Michigan, the International Human Rights Award in France, The Crystal Award at World Economic Forum, Davos amongst countless others. she is a visiting professor at Michigan University.
She was nominated to the Rajya Sabha by the President of India and is recipient of the Padma Bhushan. She is married to noted scriptwriter, lyricist and Urdu poet Javed Akhtar.