Out of tune: DPIFF shocking insult to music composers, how genuine is DPIFF? Reactions and Opinions

Out of tune: the touted DPIFF Awards shocking insult to music composers, how genuine is DPIFF? reactions and opinions

Out of tune: DPIFF’s shocking insult to music composers. How genuine is DPIFF? Reactions and Opinions

Can an Indian film award ignore the Best Music or Best Background Score? Impossible, right? Unless the award was given in the silent era before Alam Ara (1931) – India’s first talkie film!

Shockingly, the much-publicized Dadasaheb Phalke International Film Festival (DPIFF) awards given by the Dadasaheb Phalke Academy are responsible for this unforgivable mistake. Both the Best Music Director and best Background Score categories are missing from the list. The recently-concluded awards saw winners in Alia Bhatt (Best Actress), Ranbir Kapoor (Best Actor), Rekha (Outstanding Contribution In The Film Industry) and Rishab Shetty (Most Promising Actor) walking away with the acting honours.



DPIFF ignores music composers

The DPIFF awarded Sachet Tandon in the Best Male Singer category for the song Maiyya Mainu from the movie Jersey, whose music is by Sachet-Parampara, while Neeti Mohan won in the Best Female Singer category for the song Meri Jaan from Gangubai Kathiawadi with music by Sanjay Leela Bhansali. Veteran singer Hariharan was honoured for Outstanding Contribution to the Music Industry.

These young singers along with veteran Hariharan gladly accepted their own awards but did not react on the issue of DPIFF ignoring music directors. And if they are still unaware, this is their wake-up call.  Will these recipients speak for their fraternity?

After all, much to the dismay of genuine music lovers and music directors of the film industry, the music makers, have been ignored. From the 30 categories announced this year, DPIFF did not have space for these two vital awards, which is not acceptable at all. And where is the problem in recognizing music composers and why have they been ignoring them continuously since 2020?

Popular awards like Filmfare, Stardust, Zee etc. may have controversies regarding the final winners, but these categories were never ignored. And DPIFF is doing this shamelessly—since 2020!



Composer Jatin Pandit of Jatin-Lalit fame reacts

Composer Jatin Pandit of Jatin-Lalit fame, says, “It’s a shame! As a music composer, I feel defeated. How can DPIFF discard music directors, who are like the soul of any film?”



Eminent film historian and senior journalist Rajiv Vijayakar

Eminent film historian and senior journalist Rajiv Vijayakar calls this a shocking insult to composers. He says, “It shows how much the importance of Film Music in Hindi films has gone for a toss (unlike South films, which are advertised as 'S. Thaman musicals' or 'XYZ musicals' after the composers' names, or other regional films) that the winners for Best Music and Best Background Music are not announced, though the Best Singers are. What can singers sing, after all, if there are no songs created? Even Lata and Rafi became what they are because of the songs they got!”


He adds, “Even on the DPIFF Instagram site and every other online site, these names are missing. Irshad Kamil himself tweeted that he had won Best Lyricist for Haan kar de from Uunchai, but we do not know who has won in the other two categories. This is a disgusting scenario for an organization that doles out multiple awards every year until now in each of many categories. It is doing a disservice beyond repair for music, one of the USPs of Hindi cinema.”


Says Vijayakar, “This is doubly ironical because 2022 was a better year overall for Hindi Film Music than many recent years, with notable scores by Amit Trivedi (Uunchai, Qala), Pritam (Brahmastra), Sanjay Leela Bhansali (Gangubai Kathiawadi) and RRR (M.M. Kreem), which has also won international honours. I strongly feel that the Music Composers’ associations must take action and condemn this negligence, even more so if the awards have been given but not mentioned.”


Authenticity of Dadasaheb Phalke International Film Awards (DPIFF)

DPIFF website official

The official Dadasaheb Phalke Award - India's highest award in the field of cinema presented annually at the National Film Awards ceremony by the Directorate of Film Festivals, an organization set up by the Ministry for Information and Broadcasting. It is given only to one individual across the country.

Established in 1969, the winner is selected by a committee consisting of eminent personalities from the Indian film industry, and honoured for “outstanding contribution to the growth and development of Indian cinema.” Its first recipient was Devika Rani and the latest to be honoured is Asha Parekh. The winner receives a Swarna Kamal (Golden Lotus) medallion, a shawl, and a cash prize of around Rs.10 lakh.


Over the years, it has been awarded to names like Satyajit Ray, Naushad Ali, V. Shantaram, Lata Mangeshkar, Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor, Vinod Khanna, Gulzar, Shashi Kapoor, Pran, Soumitra Chaterjee, Manna Dey, Dev Anand, Yash Chopra, Asha Bhonsle, Amitabh Bachchan, Rajinikanth and others but never to any movie.

On the other hand, the DPIFF was founded in 2012 and established in 2016 to carry forward the legacy of the late Dadasaheb Phalke. It is claimed to be “India’s only independent international film festival, which celebrates the work of aspiring, young, independent and professional filmmakers” as per their website.

Anil Mishra, the Managing Director and Founder of Dadasaheb Phalke International Film Festival, is also on the Advisory Panel of Central Board of Film Certification under the Ministry for Information and Broadcasting.

The Jury President of DPIFF is Chandrasekhar Pusalkar, grandson of Dadasaheb Phalke. The rest of the dignitaries include CEOs without significant backgrounds related to the Indian Film Industry. But this is not about whether the committee has insiders or outsider but about knowledge of the medium.

So, is not the DPIFF aware of Shankar-Jaikishan, SD, Burman, RD Burman, Laxmikant-Pyarelal, Anu Malik, Jatin-Lalit, AR Rahman and others? But they are only awarding singers for Outstanding Contribution to the music industry. Seriously, this is not funny but ridiculous.


Cashing/Manipulating in the name of Dada Saheb Phalke – The Father of Indian Cinema

Do you think Rekha, Alia Bhatt, Ranbir Kapoor, Rishabh Shetty or Vivek Agnihotri are not aware of the original Dadasaheb Phalke given by the government of India? Irresponsibly claiming that they won the Dada Saheb Phake award, like Vivek Agnihotri has, is just creating confusion.

DPIFF is manipulating and cashing in on the name of Dadasaheb Phalke. And that is what the award winners of DPIFF seem to be doing too—by getting self-centred in their moment of fame.


Dadasaheb Phalke Academy Awards most trustworthy, says Chandrashekhar Pusalkar late Dadasaheb Phalke's grandson

Hrithik Roshan, Pamela Chopra and Former President of India Pratibha Patil at Dadasaheb Phalke Academy Awards - pic courtesy KoiMoi

Chandrashekhar Pusalkar, the late Dadasaheb Phalke's grandson, had stated that the DPIFF awards were “most trustworthy” in 2018 to IANS. Why has he gone to DPIFF? Keep guessing… Yes, you may be right. It's all about…..

For those who are unaware and are going gaga over the DPIFF, a fact check is a must. There are multiple award ceremonies instituted in the name of the father of Indian Cinema—like Dadasaheb Phalke Excellence Awards, Dadasaheb Phalke Film Foundation Awards and so on.

Allow me to introduce Dadasaheb Phalke Academy that runs these awards to those who are not aware. It is an organization that has been paying tribute to the legacy of Phalke for the last 18 years. It not only acknowledges icons, seniors and legends from the field of acting and production, but also from the 22 different crafts of the film industry, including acting, direction, technicians, make-up artistes and right from the spot boys to the top actors, actresses and filmmaker, everybody is acknowledged.

The Dadasaheb Phalke Academy has been actively involved with the family, installed Dadasaheb Phalke's statue in Filmcity, and was also instrumental in getting the name changed to Dadasaheb Phalke Chitranagri. The Academy is an all-India body of 38 cine associations – of producers, directors, actors, technicians and others.

Ashok Shekhar, whose company, Madhuri Entertainment, manages and organizes these awards says, “These awards are designed with an aim of the welfare of the industry. It’s given by industry seniors to the winners in their respective fields. Everyone from the film industry, from Dilip Kumar to Sunil Dutt to Yash Chopra to Amitabh Bachchan have participated in, attended and won these awards”.

Ashok Shekhar further said, “We don’t commercialize or sell our awards, they are for the welfare of the industry and whatever sponsorship we get is for organizing the award function.”

Ritesh Arvind Tripathi, whose celebrity management company, Perfect PR Entertainment, which is going to handle the celebrity management of the upcoming Dadasaheb Phalke Academy Awards, says, “Yes planning for the next instalment of Dadasaheb Phalke Academy Awards is on and we will be announcing the date soon and as per our principle – the Dadasaheb Phalke Academy Awards will be non-saleable and purely designed for the welfare of the industry and its various bodies and associations.”



On 30th April, the world will remember Dadasaheb Phalke on his 153rd anniversary and it will not be a surprise if someone suddenly pops up and announces another ‘Dada Saheb Phalke’ award to cash in on the legacy.

This was the man who gave India’s its first feature film – Raja Harishchandra – the story of a king who gave away his kingdom, sold his family, and agreed to be a slave – all to fulfil a promise he had made to the sage Vishwamitra.

Today in the world of Film Awards in India you won’t find any Harishchandra or Vishwamitra but you can easily point out who is the ‘king’ and who is ‘slave’ who keep changing their positions for gain or fame.


About vishal verma

vishal verma

A child born from life & fed by cinema. A filmi keeda from child & a film journalist for the last fifteen years. a father, seeker, foodie who loves crooning bollywood melodies twitter.com/cineblues More By vishal verma

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