National Film Award

First awarded on the 10th of October 1954, the National Film Awards (NFA) celebrate the excellence in cinematic achievements for the Indian cinema. These are presented by the Directorate of Film Festivals at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi.

The 63rd National Film Award were presented on the 3rd of May 2016. The Dadasaheb Phalke Award, considered the highest award, was awarded to Manoj Kumar as actor and filmmaker. The awarding committee consisted of eminent personalities singers Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, screenwriter Salim Khan, singer Nitin Mukesh and Anup Jalota. Films are awarded at all India as well as regional levels under many categories. The recipient of the Swarna Kamal for best feature film was Baahubali: The Beginning, best debut film of director was Masaan, Best popular film providing wholesome entertainment was Bajrangi Bhaijaan and best direction was Bajirao Mastani among many others. Amitabh Bachchan and Kangana Ranaut were also awarded with Rajat Kamal as best actor and best actress for Piku and Tanu Weds Manu Returns respectively.

One of the most influential and popular actors of Indian cinema once proclaimed “Apart from the National Film Awards, I don’t see any other award ceremony that I should give value to. My personal experience about these award ceremonies is that I don’t trust them. I have no faith in them so I would prefer to stay away”, still the National Film Awards team has often been surrounded by controversy which follows in a lot of bad blood.

At many occasions, it has been the involvement of family as members of jury. In 2005, when Saif Ali Khan was awarded the Best Actor rumors were abuzz stating mom Sharmila Tagore being the chairperson of the Censor Board of India influenced the National Films Awards jury to help her son bag the prestigious award. At other times, it has been the involvement of the directors. In 2003, actor Ajay Devgn faced opposition for the National Award for Best Actor from celebrated director Adoor Gopalakrishnan. The allegation was that it was immoral and improper for Prakash Jha to head the jury as he was directing Devgn in his latest flick ‘Gangaajal’.

National Film Awards have yet managed to be an important source of entertainment for the people.

– Shristee Rawat