Eminent actor, director and producer Kohinoor Akhter Shuchanda was honoured with the coveted Lifetime Achievement Award at the National Film Awards for the fiscal year 2019-2020.
However, the actor could not be physically present at the event to receive the award, as she had recently undergone an open-heart surgery.
"I am honoured and overwhelmed with all the love that I have received throughout my career," shares the actor. "I feel humbled to be recognised for my contribution in the film industry."
Her daughter Lisa Malik received the Award on her behalf, while her son, Arafat Raihan Opu was supposed to read a speech on her behalf – which, according to Suchanda, the organisers did not allow during the ceremony.
"I wanted my son to convey my thoughts, and express how I felt at the moment to the honourable Prime Minister and the audience," shared the disappointed actor. "However, we felt disheartened that we were deprived from that. I believe that the organisers are responsible for this, and they should have treated the matter seriously."
According to Suchanda, even the reason behind her absence was not announced to the audience at the event. "It saddens me that the Prime Minister will never know why I could not be present at the ceremony," she says.
Suchanda began her career with National Film Award and Ekushey Padak winning filmmaker Subhash Dutta's "Kagojer Nouka" in 1966.
She was featured in iconic films like "Behula", "Shuorani Duorani" and "Jibon Theke Neya"—all directed by Zahir Raihan. The films are considered landmark projects in Bangladeshi cinema.
The actor has worked in more than one hundred films in her illustrious career. Some of her other notable works include "Dhirey Boho Meghna", "Chawa Pawa", "Noyontara", "Je Agune Puri", "Kacher Shwargo", and "Asru Diye Lekha".
Internationally acclaimed actor Babita and noted actor Champa are her younger siblings.
She produced films like "Taka Ana Pai" and "Protishodh", among others. Shuchanda made her directorial debut with "Shobuj Coat Kalo Choshma", while she received a National Film Award in 2005 for producing and directing the film "Hajar Bochhor Dhore", based on Zahir Raihan's novel of the same name.
Suchanda reminisced the struggles during the Liberation War and her career during the golden period of Bengali cinema. "When my husband, Zahir Raihan, went missing, I had no place to go, and my sons were too young," she said. "At the time, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman gave me support. I am indebted to him."
On being asked if she ever thought about making a biopic on her own life, the actor says, "It is not that I have never thought of it. However, I would be happy if a young and talented filmmaker in our country does it," smiles the actor, who says that she is considering writing an autobiography in the future.