New Delhi: South superstar Rajinikanth today received the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, India’s highest film honour, from Vice President Venkaiah Naidu at New Delhi’s Vigyan Bhawan for his outstanding contribution to the Indian cinema.
“I am extremely happy to receive this most prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Award. My thanks to the honourable central government. I dedicate this award to my mentor, my guru K. Balachander. This moment, I remember him with great gratitude, and my brother Satyanarayan Gaikwad who’s like my father who brought me up by teaching me great values, and spirituality. My friend in Karnataka, bus transport driver, and my colleague Rajbahadur,” the actor said.
“When I was the bus conductor, he identified the acting talent in me and encouraged me to join the cinema. All my producers, directors, co-artistes, technicians, distributors, exhibitors and the media, press and all my fans. Tamil people – without them I am no body. Jai Hind!,” he added.
The veteran actor received a standing ovation as he was conferred the award.
Actors Kangana Ranaut, Manoj Bajpayee and Dhanush were also feted at the 67th National Film Awards, which were announced earlier this year.
Manoj and Dhanush received their awards for Best Actor for ‘Bhonsle’ and the Tamil film ‘Asuran’, respectively.
Kangana Ranaut was honoured with the Best Actress award for her performances in the Hindi films ‘Manikarnika: The Queen Of Jhansi’ and ‘Panga’.
‘Chhicchore’ director Nitesh Tiwari and producer Sajid Nadiadwala dedicated the Best Film Award to late Bollywood star Sushant Singh Rajput, who passed away in 2020.
Vijay Sethupathy was awarded the Best Supporting Actor for his performance in ‘Super Deluxe’.
Malayalam film ‘Marakkar: Arabikadalinte Simham’ (Marakkar: Lion of the Arabian Sea) received the National Film Award for Best Feature Film. The film has been written and directed by Priyadarshan, and stars Mohanlal. The actor was also present at the awards show.
‘The Tashkent Files’ won two awards – Best Supporting Actress, which went to Pallavi Joshi and for Best Dialogue Writer.
The 67th National Awards were delayed since last year due to the pandemic.