India's top award for cinematic excellence changes nothing for Adoor Gopalakrishnan, who is unwilling to compromise on his craft and says he nurses no dream projects in his mind.
But though his feet are planted firmly on the ground, the much-acclaimed filmmaker acknowledges his joy at being chosen for the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke award at his age (64).
"Being nominated for the award is nice. But I am not bothered about what others think of me as this award will not create any pressure on me," the Kerala-born filmmaker said while interacting with journalists here.
"I can never work under any pressure or duress."
Adoor, one of the most decorated Indian filmmakers in world cinema after Satyajit Ray, was named Monday for the 2004 Dadasaheb Phalke Award annually bestowed by the Indian government for lifetime contribution to cinema.
His award-strewn career began with an impressive debut in 1972 with "Swayamvaram", which received multiple national awards.
"If this award, given to a Malayalee and a relatively young person, emboldens young filmmakers, I would be really happy," said Adoor.
"I have no goal to achieve and I am proud to say I am a professional filmmaker, one who lives by professionalism, my work is to adopt what I learn in day-to-day life."
Adoor's films were among the pioneering efforts in new age cinema, his work defining so-called "parallel" cinema that competed with commercial films in the 1970s through 1990s.
But the suggestion of a differentiation between the two kinds of cinema apparently stung, as he urged: "Please do not label films as commercial and art.
"On two occasions, I was approached by producers to do (a commercial) film and I warned them that this was risky business, which could end up losing money. But I can proudly say so far none of my producers has lost money. Some have also made good money."
On his forthcoming project, Adoor said he would begin shooting a 70-minute long documentary on the dance form "Mohiniyattom" on Sep 18.
He mentioned French woman Brigitte Chategnier, who was assisting him in the project and organized the funds. "We both have written the script too," Adoor said.
In all he has scripted and directed nine feature films and more than two dozen short films and documentaries.
Adoor has won the national award for best director four times and best script writer thrice.
On the paucity of funds for his project, he brushed aside any worries.
"At the moment I do not have any project or thought about one at all. I do not have any dream project on hand or one that I have in mind for a long time."
The filmmaker could not help but voice his criticism of the television serials.
"These serials are a bane on society and aired only for commercial reasons. I do not know what message is being conveyed through these serials but everyone, including kids, are hooked to them."
The filmmaker also won the national award for his collection of essays, "The World of Cinema", in 1984.