Sharjah-based Sohan Roy has been presented with the Better World Fund’s Unity Award at a ceremony held on the sidelines of the Cannes Film Festival in Paris. The Indian businessman and filmmaker was honoured for his work on environment protection and mining.
“It is an honour to get this award at Cannes. I feel so proud that I am the only Indian filmmaker here officially this year. I receive this award on the behalf of the entire film industry,” Roy said after the award ceremony.
Better World Fund, which aims to raise awareness on the environment, biodiversity and women’s rights and education, was part of the Cannes Film Festival to highlight two causes: mining and empowering children. Better World Fund honoured Roy along with film directors Barry Alexander Brown and Spike Lee.
Roy was recognised for Black Sand, a documentary on environmental degradation and unscientific mining in his home state of Kerala. He also produced Mmmmm (Sound of Pain), which was eligible for the Oscars this year. The movie featured former Indian football star I.M. Vijayan. Earlier, the filmmaker directed Dam 999 about the controversial Mullaperiyar dam issue – an old dispute between southern states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The film was shortlisted for Best Picture at the 84th Academy Awards.
Roy has also marked the beginning of ‘Project Indywood’, a $10 billion venture with the idea to bring the fragmented Indian film industry in various categories, under the single brand ‘Indywood’ and make it the most valuable entertainment industry on a global scale.
Apart from the film world, Roy is also the chairman and CEO of Sharjah-based Aries Group. He has launched many initiatives to support women and family members including abolishing wedding dowries for employees, providing salaries to unemployed housewives, pensions for the parents of employees who have completed three years of service with the company, and students of the staff are also provided with education scholarships every year among many other schemes.