Bollywood’s Most Influential Film Maker, Yash Chopra, Receives Honorary Professorship from Trinity College Dublin, Marking 100 Years of Bollywood Film

Posted on: 29 August 2012

Bollywood’s most influential film maker andfounder of Yash Raj Films, Yash Chopra, received an Honorary Professorship from Trinity College Dublin at a special event in Mumbai on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Bollywood film earlier this month. The prestigious award, which recognises Mr Chopra’s outstanding contribution to Indian cinema, popular culture, globalisation and cultural exchange, was conferred on the veteran filmmaker by the university’s Vice Provost for Global Relations, Professor Jane Ohlmeyer.  

Speaking at the event in Mumbai Professor Ohlmeyer commented: “Yash Chopra is one of the most influential filmmakers of our time.  This Honorary Professorship pays tribute to a dazzling career that has spanned five decades during which Mr Chopra has succeeded in breaking down geographical barriers by enamouring his Indian audience with overseas locations and bringing Indian cinema to the forefront of the global entertainment industry.  This award has also promoted the possibility of a Bollywood module being developed for students at Trinity College Dublin’s School of Drama, Film and Music, further strengthening Irish educational ties with India.”

Dressed in academic gowns, the Vice Provost for Global Relations, Professor Ohlmeyer presented Mr Chopra with his Honorary Professorship.  On receiving the award Mr Chopra said: “I am humbled to receive this honour from the renowned Trinity College Dublin.  In this, the hundredth year of Indian Cinema, I am privileged to still be an active member of a fraternity that I have been a part of for almost 60 years.  Cinema, with  its  global reach, has brought us all  closer, and  given  us  the  opportunity to be  familiar  with and  enjoy the  varied  cultures of  our beautiful world.”

“I thank the Vice Provost for Global Relations, Professor Jane Ohlmeyer, the College Deans and the Trinity College faculty, for recognising my small contribution towards this and for bestowing upon me the Honorary Professorship of their esteemed institution.” 

In 2011 Yash Raj Films’ latest release, Ek Tha Tiger, was filmed on location at Trinity College Dublin, the first time a Bollywood movie was shot in Ireland.  The excitement that surrounded the filming of Ek Tha Tiger in Trinity College Dublin’s cobbled square can be seen in the footage for the film’s hit song, Banjarra, and served to introduce Chopra’s larger than life visual style to an Irish audience.  

Vice Provost for Global Relations at Trinity College Dublin, Professor Jane Ohlmeyer, with Yash Chopra and his wife, Pam.

To coincide with the movie launch and to celebrate Trinity College Dublin’s lead role in the film, a delegation from the university  hosted a screening of Ek Tha Tiger in five Indian cities (Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Calcutta, and Delhi) this August.  At each screening over 200 school children, their parents, teachers and alumni of the College  attended to see Trinity College Dublin’s Bollywood debut.   At these events movie goers were introduced to the range of educational opportunities available at Trinity College Dublin.

The university has a long and proud history as an internationally focused university and has recently launched sixteen postgraduate scholarships for Indian students.  The scholarships are being offered in any of the university’s  taught  masters courses offered  in Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences, Science, Computer Science, Engineering,  Mathematics and Health Sciences.  Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin, has had strong links with South Asia for most of its history. Today the university is building on its links with India as part of globally networked cooperation in education and science. It is also strengthening Irish-Indian innovation through research and business opportunities.  A number of high-profile cooperation projects already exist in the sciences with top Indian institutions such as the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS) in Bangalore and the Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Advanced Study (JNIAS), Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Dehli.  The university also has partnership agreements with some of India’s premier institutions of higher education including Delhi University, IISc Bangalore, IIT Madras and Thapar University among others.