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Dadasaheb Phalke Award

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : About the award

Mains level : Role of Indian cinema in cultural integration

  • Recently it was announced that veteran actor Amitabh Bachchan will be awarded the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Award, Indian cinema’s highest honour.

The Dadasaheb Phalke Award

  • The Dadasaheb Phalke Award is part of the National Film Awards, themselves a highly coveted collection of honours in the film industry.
  • The Award is named after Dhundiraj Govind Phalke, the pioneering filmmaker who gave India its first film– ‘Raja Harishchandra’, in 1913.
  • Presented annually by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, the award is considered the highest honour in the Indian film fraternity.
  • It is awarded for “outstanding contribution to the growth and development of Indian cinema”.

History

  • According to the website of the Directorate of Film Festivals, the award was instituted by the government in 1969, and consists of a ‘Swarna Kamal’, a cash prize of INR 10 lakh, a certificate, a silk roll, and a shawl.
  • The award is presented by the President of India in the presence of the Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting, the Chairpersons of the juries and some others.
  • Amitabh Bachchan is the 50th recipient of the award. Last year, it was given posthumously to the legendary late actor Vinod Khanna.
  • The first recipient of the award was Devika Rani Roerich in 1969.

About Dadasaheb Phalke

  • Born in 1870 at Trimbak in Maharashtra, Phalke was drawn towards creative arts since childhood.
  • He studied engineering and sculpture and developed an interest in motion pictures after watching the 1906 silent film The Life of Christ.
  • Before venturing into films, Phalke worked as a photographer, owned a printing press, and had even worked with the famed painter Raja Ravi Varma.
  • In 1913, Phalke wrote, produced, and directed India’s first feature film, the silent Raja Harishchandra.
  • A commercial success, it propelled Phalke to make 95 more films and 26 short films in the next 19 years.
  • Phalke’s fortunes dwindled with the arrival of sound in cinema, and he died in 1944 at Nashik after retiring from films.
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