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HomeFact CheckFact Check: Did The Kashmir Files Win ‘Dadasaheb Phalke Awards 2023’? Here’s...

Fact Check: Did The Kashmir Files Win ‘Dadasaheb Phalke Awards 2023’? Here’s What We Found

Authors

Vasudha noticed the growing problem of mis/disinformation online after studying New Media at ACJ in Chennai and became interested in separating facts from fiction. She is interested in learning how global issues affect individuals on a micro level. Before joining Newschecker’s English team, she was working with Latestly.

Nearly a year since its release, the buzz around ‘The Kashmir Files’ refuses to die down on social media platforms. The movie became the talking point yet again after its director Vivek Agnihotri, who had earlier misleadingly claimed that his film had been “shortlisted” for Oscars, announced that movie won “ the ‘Best Film’ award at #DadaSahebPhalkeAwards2023.”

Soon after, congratulatory posts flooded the social media platforms, with users praising the film, which was based on the 1990 Kashmiri Pandit exodus. However, Newschecker found the claim to be misleading.

In a tweet dated February 21, 2023, Agnihotri stated, “ANNOUNCEMENT: #TheKashmirFiles wins the ‘Best Film’ award at #DadaSahebPhalkeAwards2023. This award is dedicated to all the victims of terrorism and to all the people of India for your blessings.”

The Kashmir Files Win Dadasaheb Phalke
Screengrab from a tweet by @vivekagnihotri

Twitterati Parrot Agnihotri’s Claim

Soon after Agnihotri’s claim, several  Twitter users also reshared the pictures posted by Agnihotri and congratulated him as “The Kashmir Files won Best Film at Dadasaheb Phalke Awards 2023.”

Archived versions of such tweets can be seen here, here, here, and here.

Mainstream Media Amplifies Vivek Agnihotri’s Claim

A few mainstream news outlets including the Jagran, Mid-Day, and Wion, also reported that Agnihotri’s film won at Dadasaheb Phalke Awards 2023.

Also Read: Vivek Agnihotri’s The Kashmir Files ‘Shortlisted’ Or ‘Nominated’ For Oscars? Know The Truth Here

Fact Check/Verification

A keyword search for “Dadasaheb Phalke Award” on Google led us to the official website of the Directorate of Film Festivals under the I&B Ministry. Detailing about the Dadasaheb Phalke Awards, the website stated, “Instituted in 1969 when presented to Devika Rani, the Dadasaheb Phalke Award was introduced by the Government of India to commemorate Dadasaheb Phalke’s contribution to Indian cinema who directed India’s first full-length feature film, Raja Harishchandra in 1913.”

“Honoured with the highest award in the field of cinema, the recipients are recognized for their ‘outstanding contribution to the growth and development of Indian cinema’.  –  This indicates that an individual is conferred with the award, and not any film/series.

Screengrab from DFF website

It added, “The award comprises a Swarna Kamal (Golden Lotus) medallion (as opposed to a trophy as seen in pictures shared by Agnihotri), a shawl, and a cash prize of ₹10 lakh.”

Did The Kashmir Files Win Dadasaheb Phalke Award?

No. We scanned through the website of the Directorate of Film Festivals but did not find any announcements/notifications/release about The Kashmir Files winning the Dadasaheb Phalke Award. Though the gallery section of the website featured pictures of the former Indian President and Vice-President bestowing the award to the recipients.

Screengrab from DFF website

Notably, the latest (68th) edition of the National Film Awards & Dada Saheb Phalke Award 2020 was held on September 30, 2022, where President Murmu was seen handing over a scroll, a shawl and a medallion to the winners. During the event, the Dadasaheb Phalke Award was conferred to veteran actress Asha Parekh. The same can be seen below

We did not find ‘The Kashmir Files’ mentioned in the list of winners of the 68th National Film Awards either.

So What Did The Kashmir Files Actually Win?

On analysing the viral photograph of Agnihotri brandishing his award, we spotted the text “International Film Festival Awards 2023” written on the trophy. We also noticed that the text on the backdrop read “Dadasaheb Phalke International Film Festival Awards 2023.”

Image tweeted by @vivekagnihotri

Additionally, we also spotted “Dadasaheb Phalke International Film Festival Awards 2023” displayed on a screen at the backdrop of the stage where Agnihotri is seen accepting the best film award. The video was also shared by the director himself.

Screengrab from video tweeted by @vivekagnihotri

Taking a clue, we looked up “Dadasaheb Phalke IFF” on Google which yielded the official website of the film festival. The website featured a series of photographs of people associated with the film industry with the same trophy as seen in images posted by Agnihotri.

Screengrab from DPIFF website

We further scanned through the official social media accounts of the DPIFF and found a tweet dated February 21, 2023, congratulating “The Kashmir Files for winning the Best Film award at Dadasaheb Phalke International Film Festival Awards 2023.”

Screengrab of tweet by @Dpiff_official

What Is DPIFF?

The website states, “Dadasaheb Phalke International Film Festival (DPIFF) was founded in 2012 and established in 2016 to carry forward the legacy of Late Shri Dhundiraj Govind Phalke, lovingly known as Dadasaheb Phalke – The Father of Indian Cinema. It is India’s only independent international film festival, with a mission to celebrate the work of aspiring, young, independent & professional filmmakers.”

Screengrab from DPIFF website

Its aim is to “honour the lifetime effort of Shri Dadasaheb Phalke ji and so, the festival celebrates the brilliance of the Indian film industry by making an effort to acknowledge and aid nascent projects by bringing them to mainstream audiences. DPIFF is a unique initiative intended to honour the Entertainment Industry and to appreciate creativity in the spectacular world of cinema.”

Did Agnihotri Clarify?

A day after announcing that his ‘The Kashmir Files’ has won the best film at “#DadaSahebPhalkeAwards2023,” Agnihotri on February 22, 2023, shared links to reports published in The Print and Republic World. Though both these reports stated that The Kashmir Files had won at the Dadasaheb Phalke International Film Festival Awards, they too carried Agnihotri’s previous misleading tweet.

Screengrabs from tweet by @vivekagnihotri

Archived versions of the tweets can be seen here and here.

It’s All In The Name

Given his contributions to Indian Cinema, naming any award or festival after Dadasaheb Phalke is a common practice. However, it is likely to be a reason behind some industry-related misinformation – like in Agnihotri’s case. In 2018, Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) member Vani Tripathi Tikoo called out this practice and clarified, “There is only one “Dada Saheb Phalke” Award constituted by  @MIB_India anyone else using the name is a gross violation of this prestigious award and its name..”

Conclusion

We could thus conclude that Vivek Agnihotri’s The Kashmir Files did not win in the best category at the Dadasaheb Phalke Awards 2023 but at Dadasaheb Phalke International Film Festival Awards 2023. A tweet by Agnihotri making a misleading claim was amplified by the mainstream media, and created confusion about a recent accolade received by The Kashmir Files.

Result: Missing Context

Sources

Official Website Of Directorate of Film Festivals
Official Website Of Dadasaheb Phalke International Film Festival
Self Analysis


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Authors

Vasudha noticed the growing problem of mis/disinformation online after studying New Media at ACJ in Chennai and became interested in separating facts from fiction. She is interested in learning how global issues affect individuals on a micro level. Before joining Newschecker’s English team, she was working with Latestly.

Vasudha Beri
Vasudha Beri
Vasudha noticed the growing problem of mis/disinformation online after studying New Media at ACJ in Chennai and became interested in separating facts from fiction. She is interested in learning how global issues affect individuals on a micro level. Before joining Newschecker’s English team, she was working with Latestly.

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