The prestigious Rajasthan International Film Festival this year conferred their Best Author Award to noted film journalist and television producer Ram Kamal Mukherjee for his biography Hema Malini:Beyond The Dreamgirl. The award was officially announced by festival director and founder of RIFF Ms Anshu Harsh. Published by Harper Collins India, the authorized biography captures the life of legendary actress Hema Malini. The foreword of the book has been penned by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, and the afterword has been written by veteran filmmaker Ramesh Sippy. The cover of the book has been shot by fashion photographer Vickky Idnaani.
In her impeccable Hindi citation Anshu Harsh stated, “शब्दों की एक अलग दुनिया होती है और जरूरी नहीं ये दुनिया केवल कविता , कहानी और साहित्य की दुनिया हो। शब्द बनाते है , शब्द जोड़ते है और शब्द ही तो है जो किसी की मुलाक़ात का पहला आधार है और रामकमल एक ऐसी शख्सियत है जो शब्दो के जादुगर है या यु कहे की सौदागर है. करोडो हिन्दुस्तानियो के सपनो के शहर मुम्बई में अपने शब्दो से फ़िल्मी दुनिया के सितारों के बीच अपनी एक अलग पहचान बंनाने का जज़्बा मन में लेकर अठारह उनीस साल की उम्र में राम ने अपने करियर की शुरुआत की। Best Author award se hum unko sammanit kar rahe hain.”
The award was conferred by internationally acclaimed film actor Adeel Hussain and National award winning filmmaker Ananth Narayan Mahadevan at Birla Auditorium.
Adil Hussain who created a major impact in Hollywood with films like Life of Pi, Parched and English Winglish said, “I have heard a lot about Ram Kamal and his biography on Hema ji. I have just ordered the book online and waiting to read it. I wish Ram Kamal will also write about alternative cinema and actors who have made their mark in Indian cinema. ”
Internationally acclaimed filmmaker Ananth Narayan Mahadevan was visibly excited presenting the award to Ram Kamal. “I know Ram Kamal for many years. I have worked with Hemaji in Noopur. I have read the book and I think it’s one of the finest biographies released in recent times.”
Hema Malini congratulated Ram Kamal on his second award. “I an extremely happy and honoured that Rajasthan International Film Festival decided to give Beyond The Dreamgirl this award. Ram Kamal is a very senior writer and he has worked hard on this book. I think he deserves all the awards.”
Executive Editor Shantanu Roy Choudhuri from HarperCollins India was equally happy with this achievement. “I have seen Ram Kamal working with lot of passion towards this book. These awards are definitely an indication that Bollywood biographies are in vogue and people want to read more about yesteryear stars and their journey.”
Author Ram Kamal said, “This was unexpected. I mean I came here to conduct a chat session on Regional Cinema, and both Anshu and Somendra Harsh from RIFF insisted that I should stay back for the award night. Glad I agreed to stay back for the special moment. I think the entire credit for this award goes to Harper Collins India and team for having faith in me. Of course Hemaji, without whom this book would have been just a dream.”
RIFF also honoured national and international filmmakers at the award ceremony for their outstanding contribution to Indian cinema.