Filmmaker and artist Shona Urvashi has been conferred a French honour for her contribution to bringing the new wave of independent cinema in India and improving the ease for foreign films and talent to work in and with India.
French Consul General Yves Perrin bestowed the honour on the Indo-Canadian filmmaker at a ceremony on Tuesday night.
Shona’s work as a filmmaker spans across countries where she has curated and executed many cross-platform project and ad campaigns. She helps independent filmmakers network with national and international film communities, and in promoting foreign projects to film in India while striving towards more collaborative efforts using homegrown talent.
Perrin said in a statement: “While most people know Shona as a filmmaker and advertising professional, very few know of this aspect of her life. Quietly, behind the scenes, building bridges for others to find success, recognising cinema as a cultural ambassador she continues to strive to increase the chances for contemporary narratives arising from India to cross over.”
Shona reminisced her connection with France, speaking of the time when her grandfather Parmanand Anand traveled there, distributing Indian films.
“There is an innate awareness, sensitivity the French have to the need to preserve and document culture and history through the arts. I deeply share the same values and believe that through our collaboration with each other, there are more dynamic conversations to be had, many exciting projects we must do together and so many new people on both sides just waiting to discover the other for better opportunity for all,” she said.
Shona, sister of actress Masumeh Makhija, believes the arts are an important cultural ambassador.
“They translate similarities and differences between us, so we can learn from each other,” she said.