Balachander to receive Dada Saheb Phalke Award for 2010

NEW DELHI: Veteran filmmaker K Balachander who is remembered for his Hindi film ‘ Ek Duje ke Liye’ and Tamil satire ‘Thaneer Thaneer’, is to receive the country’s highest honour in cinema, the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, for 2010.

The award is conferred by the Central Government of India for outstanding contribution to the growth and development of Indian Cinema. The award consists of a Swarn Kamal, a cash prize of Rs one million, and a shawl. The award is given on the recommendations of a committee of eminent persons, and will be presented by the President along with the National Film Awards for 2010 some time next month.

Balachander has been film director, screenplay writer and producer for more than 45 years. He has written, directed and produced more than 100 films in Tamil, Telugu, Hindi and Kannada. He is known for his distinct film-making style. The films he scripts and directs analyze unusual or complicated inter-personal relationships and social themes. Balachander has the uncanny knack of spotting talent.

He has been responsible for bringing into limelight many stars of the present day, including Rajnikanth, Kamal Haasan, Prakashraaj and Vivek.

Born in Thanjavur District, Tamil Nadu, in July 1930, Balachander came into prominence as a playwright with his dynamic plays like ‘Major Chandrakanth’, ‘Server Sundaram’, ‘Naanal’ and ‘Neerkumizhi’. These plays enjoyed huge popular and critical acclaim.

He entered the film industry in 1965 and shot into fame with his very first film ‘Neerkumizhi’ starring Nagesh. Since then, he has directed and produced a number of movies which have won many National Awards apart from those from State Governments and other organizations.

Some of the prominent films he has directed include ‘Apoorva Raagangal’, ‘Avargal’, ‘47 Natkal’, ‘Sindhu Bhairavi’, ‘Ek Duuje Ke Liye’ (Hindi), ‘Maro Charithra, and ‘Rudraveena’ in Telugu and ‘Bekiyalli Aralida Hoovu’ in Kannada. Films like ‘Iru Kodugal’, ‘Achamillai Achamillai’, ‘Thaneer Thaneer’, and ‘Oru Veedu Iru Vaasal’ went on to win National Film Awards.

For the last few years, Balachander has also turned his attention to the small screen and has brought to it the same perfection and intensity that he exhibited on the big screen.

He was conferred the Padma Shri in 1987 and was honoured with the title ‘Kalaimamani’ by the Tamil Nadu Government in 1973. He has also won the Golden Nandi award and Silver Nandi awards from the Government of Andhra Pradesh and has also won the Filmfare award as Best Director numerous times.

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