Power Moment: Aruna Vasudev | Verve Magazine
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July 07, 2016

Power Moment: Aruna Vasudev

Text by Simone Louis. Photograph by Chokyi Palmo

For bagging four lifetime achievement awards in a year

Acknowledged as the ‘mother of Asian cinema’, Aruna Vasudev launched Cinemaya in 1988 — an inimitable publication that showcases film-makers from Asia — and founded the internationally-renowned Netpac 25 years ago, as an organisation to forward the cause of Asian films. This was followed by Cinefan, the Cinemaya Festival of Asian Cinema, in 1999. It’s no surprise then that she was awarded the Star of Italian Solidarity and the Chevalier of Arts and Letters, the highest titles from two major film-producing countries, Italy and France.

On job satisfaction: “I have always created my own jobs and been able to do whatever I wanted to, in the way that I wanted to do it, and with people I chose to collaborate with. Work has always been combined with productivity and fulfilling achievements. Sharing ideas and laughter are, to me, most important.”

Principal life choices: “When I was still in my last year in boarding school, I made a decision that I would not change my name when and if I got married, that I would work and that I would be financially independent!”

On power: “To me it has always meant being able to achieve whatever I wanted — whether sports in school and college or my career choice when I decided to go to Paris at a time when there were only a handful of Indians there. I wanted to study film-making in the early ’60s, when it was unheard of in India.”

Favourite quote: “The first two lines of a poem by the American poet John G. Neihardt have remained with me since I was a student —‘Let me live out my years in heat of blood! Let me die drunken with the dreamer’s wine!’”

Films to watch on a deserted island:The Seventh Seal  by Ingmar Bergman — because it makes you think about life and what it all means — and Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter…and Spring by Kim Ki-duk (South Korea) because it is visually stunning and very thought-provoking.”

Read about our next power woman, Arunima Sinha.

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