Mr. Naresh Malhotra, Chairman of Prime Focus, received the prestigious and much coveted 'Dadasaheb Phalke Award' this year, for his immense contribution to, and excellence in the video and films industry. He was honored at a ceremony held in Mumbai, where Hon'ble Governor of Maharashtra, K. Sankaranarayanan, was the chiefs guest.
Accepting this accolade, Naresh Malhotra, Chairman of Prime Focus said, “I am humbled to receive the Shri Dadasaheb Phalke Award. I would like to extend my gratitude to the Government of India for recognizing my contribution in the world of cinema, and honoring me with the highest award in the industry.”
“During my 40 year professional journey, I have been involved in every facet of the entertainment industry, from direction to production, and seen Prime Focus grow from a garage company to a global success story. I would like to thank all my close friends, family and employees who have made this journey more meaningful.”
The 69-year-old cinema veteran entered the ranks of Bollywood as an Assistant Director and Controller of Production with the well-known director Mr. Asit Sen and producers M/S MR Productions. They made several films together, including Khamoshi, Safar, Anokhi Raat, Sharafat and Bairaag, after which Mr. Malhotra ventured into producing films on his own, including the popular Shahenshah, with Amitabh Bachchan as the lead star. The Prime Focus chairman also recognized the potential boom in the Indian television industry, and set up India’s first digital audio studio and then, in 1990, ventured into the business of providing services for the production of TV programs and ad films by leasing equipment to production houses and Ad filmmakers. His mentorship was instrumental to the launch of Prime Focus in 1997. Over the years, he has been recognized as a pioneer in contributing to the Entertainment and Media industry.
The 195th Dadasaheb Phalke Awards were organized by Dadasaheb Phalke Academy. Amitabh Bachchan, Asha Bhosale and the late Yash Chopra are some of the past recipients of the award.