Did Vivek Agnihotri's The Kashmir Files Win The Dadasaheb Phalke Award?
The Kashmir Files won in the Best Film category of the Dadasaheb Phalke International Film Festival award, a film festival managed by a private organisation.
Filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri's tweet claiming his film The Kashmir Files won the Best Film award at the Dadasaheb Phalke Awards 2023, created confusion on Tuesday with many mistaking it for the similarly named prestigious government award.
The Kashmir Files, a controversial film about the plight of Kashmiri Pandits in the 90s, won the Best Film award at the Dadasaheb Phalke International Film Festival (DPIFF) held on February 20, 2023.
BOOM was able to ascertain that the DPIFF and the Dadasaheb Phalke award are not one and the same. The former is a private film festival whereas the latter is part of the Directorate of Film Festivals, an organisation set up by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, that also hosts the National Film Awards. The Dadasaheb Phalke award, the highest award in the field of Indian cinema, is conferred on a single recipient for their "outstanding contribution to the growth and development of Indian cinema".
Following this, several Facebook posts on Tuesday congratulated Agnihotri for winning the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke award.
One such post reads, "The Kashmir Files wins the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke award. Congratulations to Vivek Agnihotri ji."
The Trending #DadaSahebPhalkeAwards2023
Soon after Agnihotri's tweet, the hashtag #DadaSahebPhalkeAwards2023 was also used to congratulate Agnihotri and The Kashmir Files crew for winning awards in the film festival.
Kailash Vijayvargiya, national general secretary of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), used the hashtag to claim that The Kashmir Files has been conferred with the Best Film in the Dada Saheb Phalke Awards, 2023. See Vijayvargiya's tweet archive here.
The same hashtag was used by several other verified handles praising the film and the cast for being conferred with the highest award in the field of Indian cinema.
View the archive of the tweets here, here . BOOM also scraped the hashtag and we found that 942 tweets used the same hashtag, till the time of writing this article.
Meanwhile Congress handles confused the two awards together and claimed that the prestigious award is now partisan.
Agnihotri's film, The Kashmir Files, had earlier run into a controversy after he misleadingly claimed that the film had been shortlisted by the Academy Awards for the 2022 Oscars. The film however, had only made it to the 'Reminder's List' along with 300 other films.
TKF is based on the exodus of Kashmiri pandits in the valley in the 1990s. It was one of the highest grossing films in India last year and was endorsed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and made tax free in several BJP ruled states of the country.
What is Dada Saheb Phalke International Film Festival?
According to the 'About' section of DPIFF, the film festival was founded in 2012 and established in 2016 to "carry forward the legacy of Late Shri Dhundiraj Govind Phalke, lovingly known as Dadasaheb Phalke – The Father of Indian Cinema."
BOOM reached out to Badal Saboo, an advisory board member of DPIFF, who informed, "The DPIFF Awards 2023 was held on February 20, 2023 at the Taj Lands End Hotel." Several actors including Alia Bhatt, Rekha, Vidya Balan, Anupam Kher and Sheeba Chaddha, attended the DPIFF.
We also reached out to Abhishek Mishra, the CEO of DPIFF who clarified that the DPIFF is a private film festival and is not related to the National Film Awards.
Mishra told BOOM, "DPIFF is an international film festival organised by a private organisation." Mishra further added that the jury is confidential. "The entries go through three layers of jury members; films and people who have worked and performed in the previous year (January 2022 to December 2022) are eligible for the awards. We give away the awards to the artistes of the mainstream cinema," Mishra told BOOM. Chandrasekhar Pusalkar, grandson of Dadasaheb Phalke, is the jury president.
This year, the DPIFF awarded people and films in 30 categories. Veteran actor Rekha received an award for her outstanding contribution in film industry. Musician Hariharan received an award for his 'outstanding contribution in the music industry.' According to the website, DPIFF honours the entertainment industry and 'appreciate creativity' of cinema.
The website however does not mention any link of the film festival and awards with the Dada Saheb Phalke award and National Film Awards.
Dadasaheb Phalke Award
The Dadasaheb Phalke Award is awarded annually to recipients from the Indian cinema for their 'outstanding contribution to the growth and development of Indian cinema.' The award is conferred upon individuals and not films. The award is presented at the National Film Awards ceremony.
According to the website of Directorate of Film Festivals, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, recipients are 'Honoured with the highest award in the field of cinema, the recipients are recognized for their ‘outstanding contribution to the growth and development of Indian cinema’. The award comprises a Swarna Kamal (Golden Lotus) medallion, a shawl, and a cash prize of ₹10 lakh.'
In the past, film personalities including Amitabh Bachchan, Shyam Benegal, Asha Parekh, Lata Mangeshkar, Adoor Gopalakrishnan and Gulzar have won the award.
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