Movie legend Rajinikanth will be conferred with the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Award for 2019 for his contribution to Indian cinema. The news was announced by Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar on Thursday.
Rajinikanth will be the 51st recipient of the award. He has earlier been honored with the Padma Bhushan and the Padma Vibhushan by the government of India.
"Happy to announce #Dadasaheb Phalke award for 2020 to one of the greatest actors in history of Indian cinema Rajnikant ji," Javadekar tweeted. He added, "His contribution as actor, producer and screenwriter has been iconic."
Happy to announce #Dadasaheb Phalke award for 2019 to one of the greatest actors in history of Indian cinema Rajnikant ji— Prakash Javadekar (@PrakashJavdekar) April 1, 2021
His contribution as actor, producer and screenwriter has been iconic
I thank Jury @ashabhosle @SubhashGhai1 @Mohanlal@Shankar_Live #BiswajeetChatterjee pic.twitter.com/b17qv6D6BP
The Dadasaheb Phalke, awarded for excellence in cinematic achievement, is the highest honour in the Indian film world and is awarded by the government. It is named for the director of Raja Harishchandra, India's first feature film. The recipient of the 2018 award was Amitabh Bachchan, Rajinikanth's co-star from Hum.
The Dadasaheb Phalke Award for 2019 should have been announced last year but was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, as were the recently announced National Film Awards for 2019.
Veteran singers Asha Bhosle and Shankar Mahadevan, actors Mohanlal and Biswajeet, and film-maker Subhash Ghai are members of the jury that selected Rajinikanth for the award.
The 70-year-old Rajinikanth has a fanatical following down south, and has worked in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Hindi cinema. He made his debut in 1975 with K. Balachander's Apoorva Ragangal and has completed more than 45 years in the Tamil film industry.
He has delivered hit films such as Billu, Muthu, Baashha, Sivaji and Enthiran. Among his recent releases, Kaala, directed by Pa Ranjith, was a critical and commercial smash. Rajinikanth was last seen in AR Murugadoss' Darbar. Currently, he is shooting for his upcoming film Annaatthe.