INDIA is world’s number one film-producing country. At roughly 2500 movies every year, the industry earns about Rs 15,000 crore annually from sales of cinema tickets. Though the density of cinema screens is less in the country, at about 9,000 compared to over 65,000 in China and more than 35,000 in the US, the love for cinema is ubiquitous in India.
In keeping with the high interest of viewers, advertising moolah has given rise to dime a dozen film awards which are given out yearly in different shapes, sizes, colours and categories. But the most prestigious, soughtafter and cherished awards are the National Film Awards, which are given by the highest official of the country – the President of India – every year.
Under I&B purview
The awards come under the purview of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. The Ministry used to have a Directorate of Film Festivals till last year which would handle the jury work for the Awards. But now the Directorate has been subsumed into the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC).
Established in 1954, the National Film Awards are given for the preceding year’s films which are showcased free for public viewing after the conferment of the awards.
Over the years, the number of the awards has increased. Initially called ‘State Awards’, with two President’s Gold Medals, two certificates of merit and silver medals for a dozen regional films, for the first six years, it was the practice to give the Regional Best Award to the National Best Film itself.
The first recipients
Separate awards for artists and technicians were instituted in 1968 for the films of 1967. Nargis Dutt and Uttam Kumar were the first actress and actor to get the Best Actress (then called Urvashi) and Best Actor (then called Bharat) Awards, respectively.
The awards are given in three sections – Feature Films, NonFeature Films and Best Writing on Cinema. A Lifetime Achievement Award, named after the father of Indian cinema Dadasaheb Phalke, is also given every year for outstanding contribution to cinema.
Cinema as art form
The selection of winners in Feature Films and Non-Feature Films is a recognition of cinematic excellence. The ‘Best Writing on Cinema’ award focuses on encouraging the study and appreciation of cinema as an art form. It looks at dissemination of information and critical appreciation of the art form through the publication of books, articles, reviews, newspaper coverage and studies.
The National Film Awards aim at encouraging the production of films of aesthetic and technical excellence. Films which are selected by a highprofile jury are chosen for their social relevance and appreciation of cultures of different regions of the country. They, thus, also help in promoting unity and integrity of the country.
|Best Feature Film||Rocketry|
|Best Actor||Allu Arjun,Pushpa|
|Best Director||Nikhil Mahajan, Godavari|
|Best Actress||Alia Bhatt (Gangubai Kathiawadi)|
|Nargis Dutt Award for Best Film on National Integration||The Kashmir Files|
|Best Supporting Actor||Pankaj Tripathi (Mimi)|
|Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment||RRR|
|Best Supporting Actress||Pallavi Joshi (The Kashmir Files)|
|Best Child Artist||Bhavin Rabari (Chhello Show)|
|Best Screenplay (Original)||Shahi Kabir (Nayattu)|
|Best Music Direction (Songs)||Devi Sri Prasad (Pushpa)|
|Best Screenplay (Adapted) & Utkarshini Vashishtha
|Sanjay Leela Bhansali|
|Best Music Direction (Background Music)||MM Keeravaani (RRR)|
|Best Dialogue Writer||Utkarshini Vashishtha & Prakash Kapadia (Gangubai Kathiawadi)|
|Best Male Playback Singer||Kaala Bhairava (RRR)|
|Best Lyrics||Chandrabose (Konda Polam’s Dham Dham Dham)|
|Best Hindi Film||Sardar Udham|
|Best Kannada Film||777 Charlie|
|Best Production Design||Dmitrii Malich and Mansi Dhruv Mehta, (Sardar Udham)|
|Best Malayalam Film||Home|
|Best Editing||Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Gangubai Kathiawadi|
|Best Gujurati Film||Preetisheel Singh, Gangubai Kathiawadi|
|Best Tamil Film||Kadaisi Vivasayi|
|Best Costume Designer||Veera Kapur Ee, Sardar Udham|
|Best Telugu Film||Uppena|
|Best Stunt Choreography||King Soloman, RRR|
|Best Maithili Film||Samanantar|
|Special Jury Award||Shershaah, Vishnuvardhan|
|Best Mishing Film||Boomba Ride|
1. Late Shri Nallandi, Kadaisi Vivasayi
2. Aranya Gupta & Bithan Biswas, Jhilli
3. Indrans, Home
4. Jahanara Begum, Anur
|Special Mention (Non-feature film)
1. Aniruddha Jatkar, Baale Bangara,
2. Sweta Kumar Das, The Healing Touch,
3. Srikanth Deva, Karuvarai,
4. Ram Kamal Mukherjee, Ek Duaa
|Best Film Critic (Special Mention)||Subramanya Bandoor|
|Best Marathi Film||Ekda Kaay Zala|
|Best Assamese Film||Anur|
|Best Meiteilon Film||Eikhoigi Yum|
|Best Odiya Film||Pratikshya|
|Indira Gandhi Award for Debut Film of a Director||Meppadiyan, Vishnu Mohan|
|Best Film on Social Issues||Anunaad –The Resonance|