The Dadasaheb Phalke International Film Festival Awards 2021 has honoured late actor Sushant Singh Rajput with the Critic’s Best Actor award in a ceremony held on 20 February.
Sushant, who began his acting career in 2008 with the TV show Kis Desh Mein Hai Meraa Dil, became a household name when he grabbed the lead role in Zee TV’s Pavitra Rishta opposite Ankita Lokhande. Soon after, he left the television industry to test waters in the Hindi film industry. In 2013, he made his Bollywood debut with Kai Po Che, and with that, the actor bagged many roles to entertain his fans and audience with his performances.
The official Instagram account of Dadasaheb Phalke International Film Festival announced the award, writing, “Celebrating the dedication you’ve shown on the way to this achievement. Congratulations to Late @sushantsinghrajput for winning the Critic’s Best Actor award at Dadasaheb Phalke International Film Festival Awards 2021. We miss you!”
The actor, who was found dead in his apartment on 14 June 2020 was last seen in Dil Bechara opposite Sanjana Sanghi, released a few months after his death. Rajput’s close friend Mukesh Chhabra had directed the film, adapting it from the famous novel The Fault In Our Stars by John Green. It featured actor Saif Ali Khan in a special appearance.
Dil Bechara was originally slated for an 8 May 2020 theatre release but it was not possible due to the coronavirus crisis. It was later released on 24 July 2020, on Disney+ Hotstar and streamed for free to commemorate the last movie of Sushant.
Mumbai Police declared the death a case of suicide barely 15 minutes after recovering the body. The family of Sushant, including his father and sisters, had challenged the announcement and had filed an FIR in a Patna court against actress and his former girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty, her brother Showik Chakraborty and others for abetment to suicide and siphoning his assets.
Three central agencies — the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Enforcement Directorate (ED), and Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) — are still probing the case from different angles, with the NCB telling the media nearly every day who is the latest drug addict in the Hindi film industry and the other two agencies maintaining a deafening silence.