Mumbai: Yash Raj Films’ landmark hit Chak De! India was honored with the Billies, the ultimate accolade for depictions of women’s sporting achievement.
Named after Billie Jean King, the tennis legend who defeated Bobby Riggs in the Battle of the Sexes, the Billies were handed out in four categories in four categories–Breakthrough & Innovation, Entertainment, Journalism, and Outstanding Journalist.
Chak De! was declared the best in the Entertainment category at a ceremony attended by sporting greats like Aimee Mullins (Track & Field), Julie Foudy (Soccer), Michelle Kwan (Figure Skating), Rosie Casals (Tennis Player), Tony Gonzalez (Football), Tracy Austin (Tennis) and many others. Living legend Elton John wowed the audience with his performance, including a heartful rendition of Philadelphia Song, which he had written in honor of Billie Jean King.
YRF chairman Yash Chopra said, "Chak De! India continues to pay back the faith we had reposed in the movie even when conventional wisdom would have dictated otherwise. To win accolades like this from around the world, especially from places where depictions of women’s sport has had a long and established tradition is especially heartening."
Chak De! director Shimit Amin received the award on behalf of YRF. Amin said, "The reaction to the movie was simply fantastic. You would not believe that this was a foreign audience comprising professional writers, critics and industry professionals for the most part… the way they reacted."