Melbourne, Oct.20 (ANI): Australia's High Commissioner to India Peter Varghese today congratulated Bollywood superstar, Amitabh Bachchan, on his honorary doctorate, awarded by Australia's Queensland University of Technology (QUT).
Mr Varghese said "I congratulate Mr Bachchan on his honorary doctorate from QUT,an important academic institution in my home city of Brisbane. Mr Bachchan has made an inestimable contribution to global cinema and this prestigious award is a marker of the impact of his films in Australia."
The Queensland University of Technology conferred the award during a ceremony at Old Government House in Brisbane today (20 October).
Mr Varghese said "When I met Mr Bachchan in Mumbai recently he spoke positively about his upcoming role in Baz Luhrmann's latest feature film - The Great Gatsby." During his visit to Australia, Mr Bachchan will film sequences at Fox Studios in Sydney - alongside Leonardo Di Caprio, Tobey Maguire and Australia's Joel Edgerton.
Bollywood's popularity in Australia is growing, moving from art house to the mainstream. Mr Varghese said "when Aamir Khan launched his film 'Peepli Live' to a packed audience at the 2010 Melbourne International Film Festival, it was clear Bollywood had captured Australia's imagination."
Mr Varghese said "the rise of Bollywood in Australia reflects the phenomenal growth that is taking place across the spectrum of the Australia-India relationship, from booming trade and investment to education links and two-way tourism. Quite simply, our countries are becoming more important and interested in each other. And cultural ties are a critical dimension of that. That is why we're staging a major festival in India next year, which will showcase contemporary Australian arts and culture."
Mr Varghese added "I want to thank Mr Bachchan for his enormous contribution to global cinema. In accepting this award he will encourage the important cultural conversation between our countries." (ANI)