Soumitra Chatterjee gets Dada Saheb Phalke Award

Legendary Bengali actor Soumitra Chatterjee was on Thursday conferred the prestigious Dada Saheb Phalke award by Vice President Hamid Ansari who also gave away trophies to the winners of the 59th National Film Awards in New Delhi. 77-year-old Chatterjee was given a huge round of applause and a standing ovation by the audience as he received the Swarna Kamal (golden lotus) medallion, a cash prize of Rs 10 lakh and a shawl. He hurried back to his seat only to be stopped and requested to the dais by Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni to speak. "I'm really not in the frame of mind to say anything. I have always been in doubt about my work. I always thought that entertainment business was not worthwhile... For 50 years I have been accepted and loved by my countrymen. They are the reason I have come this far," he said. Making his debut in Satyajit Ray's "Apur Sansar", he went on to enjoy a great actor-director relationship with Satyajit Ray by starring in classics like "Charulata", "Ghare Baire", "Devi" and "Aranyer Din Ratri".
The best feature film trophy was shared by Umesh Kulkarni directed Marathi film "Deool" and "Byari". It comes with a Swarna Kamal and a cash prize of Rs 2,50,000. Bollywood was represented by actress Vidya Balan, who accepted her best actress trophy for "The Dirty Picture". "It is a huge honour and I have come with my parents. I am lucky to be the part of the industry at a time when roles are being written for Indian heroines. They are not simply good or bad. They are portraying characters with different shades," said the 34-year-old star, who wore a pink saree.


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