Bollywood film director and producer Yash Chopra can now call himself “doctor” after he was conferred an Honorary Doctorate Degree from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at a ceremony in London on Friday July 23rd.
The ceremony at SOAS, one of the first higher education institutions to offer a degree course in Hindi cinema, recognised Yash Chopra’s outstanding contribution to cinema in his six decades of work in the industry. He is in turn a strong supporter of the British university, serving on its International Advisory Board.
Dr. Chopra said, “I am humbled by this honour and would like to thank SOAS for this recognition. My filmmaking has always been from the heart and I would like to pass on this same message to students all over the world”.
After the graduation ceremony, Bollywood fans got the opportunity to attend ‘An Audience with Yash Chopra’ hosted by Professor Rachel Dwyer, Hindi film academic and author of Yash Chopra: Fifty Years in Indian Cinema.
“Yashji is, to use a very overworked phrase, a living legend. He is both living Indian film history and also a person who is still shaping the future of the Hindi film industry”, said Dwyer.
The director answered questions on his illustrious career, ranging from the globalisation of Indian cinema to his leading heroines and shooting overseas. The veteran of over fifty years in Indian film also gave his personal prediction for the next superstar in the industry: Ranbir Kapoor.
Dr. Chopra revealed he would soon start directing a new film, his first since 2004’s Veer Zara, “I am working on a film and scripting a story at the moment. It is of course a romantic film. I do not know when it will start and do not know who I will cast until the script is ready. But definitely I want to do another film as too much time has passed. Sooner rather than later I will start my film”.
Yash Chopra joins other Indian stars including Shah Rukh Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, Shilpa Shetty and AR Rahman, to receive an honorary doctorate from a UK university.
Watch this space for more because we also have an exclusive report on the question and answer session with Dr. Chopra!