Dadasaheb Phalke Academy most trustworthy, says late icon’s grandson

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Mumbai, April 19 (IANS) Chandrashekhar Pusalkar, grandson of the ‘father of Indian cinema Dadasaheb Phalke, is upset with the multiple award ceremonies instituted in the name of the late icon. He says the Dadasaheb Phalke Academy is the body which has been paying tribute to his grandfather since the last 18 years consistently.

Of late, there have been various award events associating themselves with Dadasaheb Phalke, like the Dadasaheb Phalke Excellence Awards and Dadasaheb Phalke Film Foundation Awards. But Pusalkar has vouched for the authenticity of the Dadasaheb Phalke Academy.

Pusalkar told IANS: “Dadasaheb Phalke Academy has been paying tribute to my grandfather since the last 18 years. The Academy not only acknowledges icons, seniors and legends from the field of acting and production, but also from the 22 different crafts of the film industry, including acting, direction, technicians, make-up artistes and spot.”

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Dadasaheb Phalke made India’s first full-length feature film “Raja Harishchandra” in 1913.

Pusalkar is the son of the filmmaker’s daughter Vrinda Pusalkar, who died in 2007. He says though the Indian government’s highest award for contribution to cinema is named after his grandfather, they have sidelined the family.

“The central government hasn’t been able to reach the trust. Recently, Vinod Khanna was honoured with Dadasaheb Phalke Award posthumously but we haven’t been invited to any of the award functions (National Film Awards) so far. I don’t think they even have our address.”

The Dadasaheb Phalke Academy has been actively involved with the family, installed Dadasaheb Phalke’s statue in Filmcity Goregoan here and was also instrumental in getting Filmcity’s name changed to Dadasaheb Phalke Chitranagri.

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Pusalkar said other awards like Dada Saheb Phalke Film Foundation Awards and Dada Saheb Phalke Excellence Awards have emerged from their parent body, which is Dadasaheb Phalke Academy Awards.

“After 2015, due to some differences, some people have started Dada Saheb Phalke Film Foundation Awards and afterwards some people started Dada Saheb Phalke Excellence Awards. So, from the same Dadasaheb Phalke Academy Awards, another two parts have been formed.

“I used to attend all three award ceremonies because they used to call us as a guest, but my only request to them is they should come under one umbrella by burying their differences,” he said.

The Dadasaheb Phalke Academy is an all India body of 38 cine associations. This year, the Dadasaheb Phalke Academy Awards night is to be held here in May.

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–IANS

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