Akshay Kumar has received a wealth of praise from critics and cinemagoers alike for his role in this year’s Pad Man – and now he can add the Dada Saheb Phalke Award to his list of accolades.
Presented annually as part of the National Film Awards, the Dadasaheb Phalke Award carries immense prestige, and is given for making an outstanding contribution to the growth and development of Indian cinema. Since its inception in 1969, the Dadasaheb Phalke Award has been given to actors Raj Kapoor, Manoj Kumar, Dilip Kumar, and Dev Anand, and singer Lata Mangeshkar, among other veterans. This year, the prestigious award was conferred on the late actor Vinod Khanna.
Akshay Kumar won both the Best Actor in a leading role Award for Pad Man and the Best Actor Award for Toilet & Ek Prem Katha at the Dada Saheb Phalke Film Foundation Awards.
The prestigious Dada Saheb Phalke Film Foundation Awards, named after one of Indian Cinema’s most influential figures, rewards today’s most talented actors. The best actor in a leading role award was decided by the Jury, and presented to Akshay Kumar for his role in the revolutionary family entertainer Pad Man. The film famously tackles the issue of menstrual hygiene and taboo in India, and Akshay Kumar’s commitment to the cause has garnered praise from all over the world. His co-star Sonam Kapoor won the Best Leading Actress Award for Pad Man.
But the Best Actor in a Leading Role wouldn’t be the only award Akshay Kumar would win that night; he also won the Best Actor award for Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, the world’s first film on the issues of open defecation and sanitation. His co-star Bhumi Pednekar also received the Best Actress Award for her role. Audiences will remember Akshay Kumar’s spirited championing of the film and the issues it tackled, including building toilets.
The Dada Saheb Phalke Award ceremony won’t be the last place we’ll see the two award-winning stars together however: Akshay Kumar is set to reunite with Bhumi for a new Swachh Bharat (Clean India) campaign. Although few details have been revealed at this stage, it has been revealed that it isn’t the only reunion Akshay Kumar will have, with Pad Man director R.Balki set to direct the campaign.
With sanitation still a key issue for India, the public will eagerly be awaiting the support of one of their favourite award-winning stars in this new campaign.