Director Aditya Dhar saw a lot of snubs and failures before his film, Uri: The Surgical Strike, took off.
His earlier project for Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions was aborted when its leading man Fawad Khan had to return to Pakistan after the conflict in Uri.
Now, the director has won the National Award for Best Director for his debut film, and he cannot contain his happiness.
"Fifteen years of failures, rejections and hard work has lead to this moment and it just can’t get better than this," Aditya tells Subhash K Jha. "I want to thank India, the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting and all the jury members of National Award committee for considering me worthy enough for this prestigious award. This is an honour I am going to cherish for the rest of my life. Being conferred with the National Award has been a dream since the time I understood what films meant to me. And films truly mean the world to me."
Aditya is also thankful to those who are close to him.
"Thanks to my family and friends for their unconditional support over the years. The way my parents and my brother have stood by me through my struggle has helped me realise my dream so beautifully. I also want to thank my producer Ronnie Screwvala and my entire team of Uri for giving it their all and making Uri what it is. This film would not have been possible without the mad obsession of each one of you to create something extraordinary for our audience.”
But above all, Aditya wants to dedicate his National Award to those Uri celebrated.
“Most importantly, I am dedicating this award to each and every brave soldier of our country and their families. Thank you for your sacrifice. You have selflessly dedicated your life to serve us and now, it is our time to dedicate everything we have to serve you."