B.R. Chopra honoured with 'Phalke Ratna' award

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Mumbai, April 30 (IANS) Legendary filmmaker B.R. Chopra was Wednesday conferred the Phalke Ratna award here while superstar of the 1970s Rajesh Khanna was honoured with the Phalke Legend Actor Award.

The honours were given away on the 139th birth anniversary of Dadasaheb Phalke, considered the father of Indian movies.

Others Bollywood veterans who were awarded by the Dadasaheb Phalke Academy for their contributions to their respective fields included actress Shyama, kathak exponent Sitara Devi, singer Mahendra Kapoor, director Ravi Tandon and art director R. Verman.

B.R. Chopra, who was awarded the Phalke Ratna, has produced and directed socially relevant and popular films like "Naya Daur" and "Insaf Ka Tarazu". While "Naya Daur" exhibited the Nehruvian look to a newly independent country and the responsibility of its people towards nation building, "Insaaf ka Tarazu" dealt with some laxity in the legal system.

Chopra was also the man behind the popular television series "Mahabharat", based on the Hindu epic.

Rajesh Khanna was the reigning star of the 1970s who gave hits like "Aradhana", "Kati Patang, "Anand" and "Amar Prem". He had a huge fan following thanks to his good looks and his ability to play myriad roles.

The Dadasaheb Phalke Academy was formed 10 years ago by 22 Bollywood craft associations to perpetuate the name of Dhundiraj Govind Phalke, popularly known as Dadasaheb Phalke.

An alumni of Mumbai's J.J. School of Arts (1885), Phalke made the first silent Indian movie "Raja Harishchandra" in 1913.

In the first year of its formation in 1998, the Academy had rescued Phalke's only surviving daughter, Brinda, from oblivion and got her a flat in Mumbai from the Maharashtra government.

The Academy was also instrumental in re-naming the Film City in Mumbai as Dadasaheb Phalke Chitranagari. It honours the film industry veterans and legends every year on Phalke's birth anniversary.

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