Subcontinental superstar

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Bollywood superstar, cultural icon, UN ambassador... legendary actress Sharmila Tagore will light up the Festival when she appears for an exclusive In Person interview.

EIFF’s newest strand, The Paradise Movie Hall, brings a touch of the exotic to the Festival, and programmer Mark Cousins is in no doubt as to his personal highlight.

“It’s a total thrill that one of the great women in cinema is coming to the Festival this year,” he notes of the actress he describes as, “the Elizabeth Taylor of Indian cinema.”

In fact, when we interviewed Cousins for EIFFtv, the veteran film writer could barely contain his excitement. And with good reason.

Tagore’s impact on not just subcontinental but world cannot be understated. She made her debut aged 14 in legendary director Satyajit Ray’s Apur Sansar, and was quickly in demand.

She went on to star in other critically acclaimed works by Ray, including Devi and Days and Nights in the Forest (also screening at EIFF), and became a cultural icon during her career in Bollywood.

Tagore was one of the first women to daringly wear a bikini onscreen in the middle of the 1960s, and her glamorous looks influenced Indian fashion for generations to come.

Her career since then has been no less influential, with highlights including Mississippi Masala in 1991 and Eklavya: The Royal Guard in 2007. So respected is she in world cinema, that she was invited to be a jury member at this year’s Cannes film festival.

At the exclusive In Person event Tagore will give her unique insight into Bengali cinema – including her work with Ray – in what promises to be one of this year’s highlights.

Sharmila Tagore: In Person takes place on 20 June at Cineworld.


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