Veteran director K Balachander, known for his masterpieces "Iru Kodugal", "Apoorva Raagangal" and "Ek Duuje Ke Liye", was today conferred the prestigious Dada Saheb Phalke award by President Pratibha Patil, who also gave away National Awards in 36 other categories.
Veteran filmmaker K Balachander, the mentor of top stars Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan, was conferred the Dadasaheb Phalke Award for 2010 for his outstanding contribution to the growth and development of Indian cinema.
He was honoured with the award by President Pratibha Patil, at the 58th National Film Awards held in New Delhi on Friday. The award consists of a Swarn Kamal, a cash prize of Rs10 lakh and a shawl. The award was given on the recommendations of a committee of eminent persons.
Hailing Balachander's creative genius, Pratibha Patil said, "He has made films not in one language, but in many - Tamil, Kannada, Telugu and Hindi. He has also been a mentor to many actors and technicians, many of whom have made a mark in Indian cinema."
The 81-year-old writer-director-producer has directed nearly 80 films in his career and launched the career of Kamal Haasan, Rajinikanth, Prakashraj, Vivek and various other talented artistes. He is also the 'guru' to many top directors.