This year's Padma awardees Shabana Azmi, Mira Nair, Dharmendra and Priyadarshan convey their elation to HitList

Two acclaimed actors and two very celebrated directors from the film industry find themselves on the list of this year's Padma Awardees.

Shabana Azmi and Mira Nair

While Shabana Azmi, Mira Nair and Dharmendra will be awarded the Padma Bhushan, Priyadarshan will receive the Padma Shri. The honour obviously comes as a pleasant surprise to these renowned names who are in many ways responsible for groundbreaking contribution to Indian cinema.
Says Shabana Azmi for whom this is the second Padma award post the Padma Shri in 1988, "I am grateful for this and even more excited because now both Javed saab and I have won the Padma Bhushan. I feel fortunate because I believe that all my life I have managed to be at the right place at the right time.
When I began my career, the Asian art and cinema space was coming to the limelight and what I am most proud of is that I was able to be part of the parallel cinema movement, which plays such a definitive role within our film culture."

Dharmendra and Priyadarshan

Spending 38 years in the industry, Azmi who is considered amongst our best actors believes that her formative years influenced her the most. "Shyam Benegal's Ankur (1974) and Mahesh Bhatt's Arth (1982) are two films that I think shaped me as an actor and as a person."

Director Priyadarshan on the other hand believes that it is his recent work like the National Award winning Kanchivaram that helped him prove a point to himself and to his audience. Says the filmmaker, "I have been making films for over 35 years and sometimes you lose objectivity along the way.
Everyone knows me for my comedy films and my entertainers, but when the National Award came my way, I felt I could do something different. So winning this Padma Shri title is a huge moment for me." Hema Malini said on behalf of Dharmendra, "We are all very happy for him and it's a proud moment for the entire family."