#NewsBytesExplainer: Wondering how the National Film Awards work? Looked
November 06, 2022, 6:26 p.m.
4 minute read
While the Indian film industry holds many award ceremonies that commend the who’s who of Indian cinema, National Film Awards are a different league of their own.
They are considered the pinnacle of cinematic brilliance in India, and winning the National Film Award bestows immense reputation on the winner and translates into phenomenal work opportunities in the future.
Here is how the whole mechanism works.
The Awards have been going strong since 1954!
The awards, established in 1954, are presented by the President of India at a ceremony in New Delhi.
“Originally called the ‘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 customary to award the regional award from Best Film to Best National Film itself,” the official website reads.
There is also an award for best writing about cinema!
According to the National Film Awards website, the awards are categorized into three sections: feature films, non-feature films, and best film writing.
The third category “focuses on encouraging the study and appreciation of film as an art form and the dissemination of information and critical appreciation of the art form through the publication of various books, articles, reviews, journal covers and studies,” the website reads.
This year, Asha Parekh won this prestigious award
The Dadasaheb Phalke Award, India’s highest film honor, is also awarded at the National Film Awards.
It is named after Dadasaheb Phalke, who directed India’s first feature film, Raja Harishchandra.
The price includes a Swarna Kamal (Golden Lotus) medallion, a shawl and a cash prize of Rs. 10L.
This year, veteran actor Asha Parekh was chosen for this illustrious honor.
Nargis and Uttam Kumar were the first acting winners
Nargis Dutt and Uttam Kumar have the honor of being respectively the first female and male actors to receive the National Film Awards in the acting categories. The Best Actress then was called “Urvashi”, while the Best Actor category was called “Bharat”.
The awards aim to ‘contribute to the appreciation of cultures’
“The awards are intended to encourage the production of films of aesthetic and technical excellence and social relevance contributing to the understanding and appreciation of the cultures of different regions…in cinematic form, thereby also promoting unity and integrity of the nation,” according to the website manager.
In addition, the winners are selected by “the Jury composed of distinguished personalities in the field of cinema, other related arts and human sciences”.
More than 100 films participate in the competition each year
The Indian Film Festivals Directorate appoints the jury and every year more than 100 films made across India are entered and deemed eligible for the awards in both feature and non-feature categories each.
There are several rules that each film must follow to qualify; one of them is that it must be certified by the CBFC between January 1 and December 31 of the previous year.
Over the years, Bollywood has been the favorite
The jury invites entries from all major Indian film industries.
Over the years, 25 Best Actor, 27 Best Children’s Film, 19 Best Musical Direction and 17 Best Supporting Actress awards are said to have gone to Bollywood or Hindi cinema.
Amazingly, despite delivering several critically acclaimed films over the years, Shah Rukh Khan has yet to become a National Film Awardee winner.
In the meantime, here is a reminder about the National Film Awards 2022
The 68th National Film Awards were announced in July and the ceremony took place in September.
by Suriya Soorarai Pottru was declared a Beat Feature Film. The Best Actor award was shared with him for Soorarai Pottru and Ajay Devgn for Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior.
Although this is Suriya’s first national award, Devgn had already earned it for Zakhm and The Legend of Bhagat Singh.
They are the members of the jury
This year, the jury was made up of 10 prominent figures from different film fraternities across the country. Members included directors Vipul Shah, VN Aditya, Viji Thampi, cinematographers Dharam Gulati and GS Bhaskar, composer Karthik Raja and actors Sreelekha Mukherji, Nishigandha Wad, S Thangadurai and Sanjeev Rattan.