Few in the Indian film industry can lay claim to the title of “Showman Auteur” bestowed on Raj Kapoor by global and Indian film experts alike. Considered one of the most influential filmmakers and actors of Indian cinema, Raj Kapoor had several awards and accomplishments to his credit. This includes three National Film Awards, two nominations for Cannes Palme d'Or for Awaara (1951) and Boot Polish (1954), while his production Jagte Raho (1956) won the Crystal Globe award at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. Raj Kapoor was later bestowed with the Padma Bhushan in 1971 and the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 1987 by the Government of India.
As a tribute to his legacy as well as the tremendous talent that has flowed from his family over the next three generations in the last 50 years, Asian Centre for Entertainment Education instituted an award in Raj Kapoor's name: ‘Raj Kapoor Awards for Excellence in Entertainment’, which will felicitate the most powerful creative work from across all disciplines of creativity.
The Third Eye program partnered with the World Bank's DIME Program, UNICEF, CMS, WIFT, Cinepolis Foundation and other international partners and stalwarts from the Bollywood Industry to unveil the trophy for the Raj Kapoor Awards for Excellence in Entertainment at a special reception organised by ACEE on Wednesday, 14th February 2018 at the Kaveri, JW Marriott, Juhu, Mumbai. The event saw a discussion on ‘The Unparalleled Social Commentator, the Showman Raj Kapoor’ by Randhir Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor and Rajiv Kapoor and moderated by Shekhar Gupta.
The inaugural Raj Kapoor Awards for Excellence in Entertainment were awarded to
- Ramesh Sippy for his contributions to Indian cinema.
- The Kapoor brothers Randhir Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor and Rajiv Kapoor for their contributions to Bollywood.
- R. Balki for having created a socially relevant movie like PadMan.
- Umesh Shukla, director of the film 102 Not Out was also awarded.