The National Awards Committee for Cinematic Excellence, consisting of Shyam Benegal, Gautam Ghosh, Sharmila Tagore and renowned flute player Hari Prasad Chaurasia and others conferred the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Award for the year 2006 to veteran Bengali film director Tapan Sinha.
Sinha, 84, who has won 19 national film awards in various categories apart from winning laurels in various international film festivals, would be given a Swarna Kamal, cash prize of Rs 10 lakh and a shawl by the President Pratibha Devi Singh Patil at a function to be held soon.
Sinha, who started his career as a sound engineer in Kolkata’s New Theatre in 1946, has directed well known films like Kabuliwala, Khudito Pashaan, Atithi, Upahar, Haatey Bazarey, Sagina Mahato, Hansuli Baker Upakatha, Adalat O Ekti Meye, Ek Doctor Ki Maut, Bancharamer Bagan and Shatabdir Kanya, among others.
The film maker got the opportunity of working in Pinewood Studio in the UK in 1950, where he was for two years. On his return to India, he shifted his focus to film- making and went on to make films in Bengali, Hindi and also Oriya.
Sinha’s cinematic works are mostly down to earth depiction of the struggles of the common man and his reputation as an uncompromising film maker puts him in a class of his own.
The Government of India conferred on him the One Time Award for Life Time Achievement while commemorating the 60th anniversary of India’s Independence.