Om Puri is one of the most recognizable Indian faces in international cinema. Everyone knows who Om Puri is and he needs no introduction. Working with eminent directors like Satyajit Ray, Shyam Benegal, Govind Nihalni, Mrinal Sen in their parallel cinema to young directors like Farhan Akhtar Rakesh Mehra and many more. Not only in India he has worked in Hollywood too. The only Indian actor to have worked with mainstream Hollywood directors like Roland Joffe, Mike Nichols, Lasse Halstrom and others, he has worked alongside Patrick Swayze, Jack Nicholson, Michael Douglas, Tom Hanks, Julia Ribersts, Val Kilmer and Helen Mirren amongst others.
East Is East is the cult British film which got him a Bafta nomination and the OBE from HRH Queen Elizabeth II for his contribution to British cinema and television. Awarded in India and the world over, with the Padmashri, the Soviet Land Nehru, the Karlovy Vary and several National Awards amongst others.
Om Puri Foundation which has started in 2017 by his wife Nandita Puri and son Ishaan Puri has decided to celebrate late actor’s 70thbirthday by launching a YouTube channel “Puri Baatein” which will talk about him, his films and beyond. Ishaan Puri, late actor’s son will launch his 4 min film on Om Puri in Puri Baatein on 18th. “We will celebrate him globally with year long programs celebrating one of the greatest actors of our times. The Om Puri Foundation will apart from having his retrospective in India, Cannes and London, will also be having a festival in Punjab, several contests with various organizations.
The highlight is Litmus…a festival of literature, theatre and music in his memory. We also look forward to releasing a few film in his memory like Ram Kamal Mukherjee’s Rickshawala as well as a couple of his unreleased Hollywood films. Hoping you will all join and be a part of keeping Om Puri’s memory and legacy alive!” says his wife Nandita Puri. One more interesting news is this year Boston Asian Film Fest is kickstarting the celebration by honouring the late actor with Outstanding contribution to cinema.
Incidentally director Ram Kamal Mukherjee’s Rickshawala, a bilingual film both in Hindi and Bengali is a tribute to Ronald Joff’s City Of Joy and Bimal Roy’s Do Bigha Zameen. After watching Rickshawala, in a private screening, late actor’s wife Nandita Puri said, “I can vouch that Ram Kamal could not have decided on a better actor than Avinash. You could see his preparation for the role, he was perfect without overplaying it. He was in character especially since I am familiar with the role of the legendary Om Puri as Hasari Pal in City of Joy. Watching Avinash in Rickshawala was deja vu for me”. Nandita got emotional after watching the film and she said she can relate to Om Puri’s character Hasari Pal and literally carried two passengers to get into the skin of the character of a rickshaw puller.
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Om Puri Foundation has decided to be the social cause partner for Ram Kamal Mukherjee’s Rickshawala. “Hand pulled rickshaws are almost extinct today except for a handful in Kolkata. But my childhood was spend riding on them. It is wonderful that Ram Kamal has captured this for posterity in a very mature manner also showing the lives of the pullers. What started with City of Joy will continue with Rickshawala. And Om Puri Foundation is very happy to be a part of this journey,” Nandita avers. Rickshawala selected at Madrid and Melbourne International Film Festival 2020.