Johannesburg: Singing legend SP Balasubrahmanyam fell ill shortly after receiving the inaugural Lifetime Achievement award at a function here last night.
Balasubrahmanyam, 67, who was last heard in 'Chennai Express', sang a line each in 15 languages receiving the award at the International Indian Film Festival of South Africa (IIFFSA).
Although the nature of his illness was not disclosed, organisers said plans were being made for the singer to return home today. A dinner event, which was supposed to held tonight with him, has also been canceled now. IFFSA is aimed at promoting cultural links among the Indian and South African film fraternity. Awards were made in various categories for regional language films from both countries.
Mohan Agashe won the Best Actor Award for his role in 'Astu' and Veena Jamkar the best actress award for 'Taapal'. South African Best Actor was John Henry Opperman in the Afrikaans film 'Musiek in die Agtergrond' (Music in the Background) and Best Actress Jay Anstey in 'Sleeper's Wake'. Opperman said IFFSA was very significant in that the recognition of the unique Afrikaans film industry in South Africa by India confirmed that this community still had a major role to play in the country. Awards were also made for the best short film, best documentary and best feature film in Each country, with a jury from India judging the South African films and vice versa.
'Lessons in Forgetting', directed by Unni Vijayan, won the best Indian feature film award and 'Verraiers' (Traitors) directed by Paul Eilers was named best South African feature film. Supported by the National Video and Film Foundation of South Africa, IFFSA is set to become an annual event, said organiser Rajiv Terwadkar.