The Dadasaheb Phalke Award is conferred by the Indian government to eminent film personalities for lifetime achievement in Indian cinema. This is the highest award given in Indian cinema and it is given to distinguished men and women for their outstanding contribution to Indian cinema over a lifetime.
The Dadasaheb Phalke Award is India’s highest award in cinema. The Dadasaheb Phalke Award is presented annually at the National Film Awards ceremony by the Directorate of Film Festivals, an organisation set up by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India.
The Indian film industry is one of the biggest in the world, and it’s not just about Bollywood. India’s regional language film industries such as the Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi and Telugu film industries are just as important to Indian cinema as the Hindi film industry.
Winners of Dadasaheb Phalke Award have come from all regional language film industries in India, it’s not just a Bollywood-centric prize. The award was instituted in the year 1969 and is announced along with the National Film Awards.
Dadasaheb Phalke was a legendary producer, director and screenwriter, who made India’s first full length feature film, Raja Harishchandra in 1913. He went on to make 95 movies and 26 short folks in his career.
The Dadasaheb Phalke Award carries a cash prize of Rs. 10 lakh. It consists of a medallion in the form of a Golden Lotus (Swarna Kamal) and a shawl. When the award was first instituted, the cash prize offered was only Rs. 11,000.
The first winner of the Dadasaheb Phalke Award was the famous actress Devika Rani, who featured in a number of films made in the 1930s and 1940s and was called the First Lady of Indian Cinema. The doyen of Indian cinema, Prithviraj Kapoor, was given the award posthumously.