NEW DELHI: President Droupadi Murmu on Tuesday conferred the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, India’s highest film honour, on cinema’s enduring icon Waheeda Rehman, an honour she dedicated to her “dear film industry” and its various departments.
President Murmu also conferred the best actor award on Telugu star Allu Arjun for his performance in ‘Pushpa: The Rise’ and best actress to Alia Bhatt and Kriti Sanon respectively, for their performances in ‘Gangubai Kathiawadi’ and ‘Mimi’.
Referring to films as the most effective medium to spread awareness, Murmu said at a function at Vigyan Bhavan that meaningful films depict the achievements and problems of society and the country.
Arjun, who received the award amid loud cheers, said the award was not only a personal milestone, but belonged to everyone who supported and cherished his cinema.
Alia, who attended the ceremony with actor-husband Ranbir Kapoor, also said she was grateful and honoured for having been awarded.
Actor-filmmaker R Madhavan also received the National Award for best feature film for his directorial debut ‘Rocketry: The Nambi Effect’, while actor Pankaj Tripathi won the best supporting actor for ‘Mimi’.
Union information and broadcasting minister Anurag Thakur said Indian content was no longer limited to regions, adding that the government stands with the industry in its efforts to counter movie piracy, and also on a policy that will help India realise its potential as the “content hub of the world”.

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