Irrfan Khan was announced as the winner of a special Icon Award at the closing ceremony of the London Indian Film Festival (LIFF).
Khan, who is undergoing medical treatment in London, accepted the award privately after two of his films were screened at the festival this year Mostafa Sarwar Farooki's "Doob: No Bed of Roses" and Anup Singh's "Song of Scorpions".
A second Icon Award, sponsored by Sun Mark, went to actor Manoj Bajpayee who attended this year's festival with his films "Gali Guliyan" and "Love Sonia".
Manoj Bajpayee said he is privileged that he got an award at this prestigious film festival. He further said that an actor is always in the making and getting this honour at the festival is remarkable These, he feels, are films that often do complete justice to the medium of cinema, where creativity is at its peak.
The Outstanding Achievement Award went to Richa Chadha, who starred in this year's opening night world premiere of Tabrez Noorani's crossover "Love Sonia".
She said that when one thinks of Indian films, people assume it is just Bollywood and that is untrue.
She said that India independent films, that survive the onslaught of the nexus, and festivals like LIFF help artists in making the right noise back home, so these films stand a chance against the mainstream expensive spectacle films.
The film festival, backed by the UK-based Bagri Foundation, is now in its ninth year as Europe's largest platform for independent cinema from the Indian subcontinent.
British comedy "Eaten By Lions" won this year's top prize, voted by the audience. Director Jason Wingard described the film as a "modern relevant comedy dealing with contemporary issues such as diversity and disability".
The annual Satyajit Ray Short Film Award worth GBP 1,000 went to the Indo-German co-production "The Peanut Seller".
LIFF programme director Cary Rajinder Sawhney said that he is glad that in spite of a UK heatwave and the ongoing football World Cup, the festival attracted so many film fans this year, both Indian and non-Indian, to London ’s wonderful film theatres.
He feels that this is an indication of a thirst for this kind of independent cinema showing more real-life images of India. The festival closed in London at the BFI Southbank on Friday and concurrently in Birmingham with the Canadian comedy "Venus".
For the first time this year the festival extended its reach to Manchester, where it will close with the rustic tale "Village Rockstars" on Sunday.
(With inputs from PTI)