3 May 2012

National Award Ceremony to be held Every Year on 3rd May Cinema the Social Mirror of Indian Society : Ambika Soni

The Vice President, Shri M. Hamid Ansari has said films played a significant role in portraying the linguistic and regional diversity of our culture. Indian cinema had successfully adapted traditional Indian narrative and oral traditions to the requirements of technology and formats of new media. Our films had become ambassadors of our culture, tradition and society. They fostered people-to-people relations and promoted our image and interests that had enduring significance. Indian commercial cinema formed a principal element of our culture and impacted the lives of the people. The Vice President, Shri M. Hamid Ansari stated this while delivering his address at the 59th National Film Awards function here today.

            Elaborating further, the Vice President said selection of two films in regional languages as the Best Feature Films, was an achievement for regional film industry. It was an under-appreciated fact that over 80 per cent of the films certified for public exhibition were regional films.  Complimenting DadaSahab Phalke Award winner, the Vice President said the partnership of ShriSoumtira Chatterjee with Satyajit Ray could be counted as a memorable director-actor combination in the history of cinema. The Vice President also lauded the 11 children who had won the Best Child Artists Awards for the 59thNational Film Awards.

            Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Information & Broadcasting, Smt. Ambika Soni said that the year 2013 would be observed as the Centenary year of Indian Cinema. India’s first full length feature film “RajaHarishchandra” was released on 3rd May 1913 at Mumbai’s Coronation Cinema. To commemorate the release of India’s first film, the National Film Awards Ceremony would now on be held on 3rd of May every year.

The Minister added that cinema had always been the social mirror of Indian society, acting as a catalyst and believing in the power of ideas, human relationships and the plurality of Indian culture. She stated that cinema reflected the vast diversity and the intrinsic plurality of the Indian society. These awards have encouraged young film makers to believe in the “Essence of Good and Meaningful Cinema”. Elaborating further, the Minister stated that regional languages continued to be the mainstay of Indian cinema and  that the National Film Award was an acknowledgement of good cinema irrespective of language barriers and budgetary constraints. The recognition given to offbeat film reflected the depth of national awards on the one hand and at the same time would encourage film makers in many other regional languages to make quality films.

On the occasion, the Minister mentioned that few projects were being undertaken by the I&B Ministry to commemorate the centenary celebrations of Indian Cinema.  The first related to the setting up of the “National Heritage Mission”, to digitalise and restore all audio and video tapes of Indian films for which over Rs.500 crores have been set aside in the XII Five Year Plan. The second project pertained to the setting up of the Museum of Indian Cinema. It would be housed in the Films Division Complex in Mumbai. The Heritage building of Gulshan Mahal, a popular filming location would be restored by December, 2012 and the new museum building would be ready before May, 2013.

Complimenting the winners, the Minister said that through their ingenuity, skills & talent, they had provided entertainment which has woven together the people of this country into one proud nation.

The highlights of the 59th National Film Awards are as follows:

The top honour in the Feature Film category,  the Best Film  is shared by  films Deool (Marathi)  produced by Abhijeet Gholap & directed byUmesh Vinayak Kulkarni  and Byari (Byari language) produced by T.H.Althaf Hussain & directed by Suveeram.  The award carries Swarna  Kamaland cash prize of Rs. 2,50,000/-.  In Non-feature film category  the top honour , Best Film goes to And We Play On (Hindi & English)directed and produced by Pramod Purswane .  The awards carries Swarna Kamal and Cash prize of Rs. 1,50,000/-.  In Best Writing on Cinema category the Swarna Kamal goes to the book titled R.D. Burman – The Man, The Music written by AnirudhaBhattacharjee & Balaji Vittal, published by Harper Collins IndiaWhereasManoj Barpujari from Assam has been awarded Best Film Critic.

            In Feature Film category, five films have won three awards each. These Films are  The  Dirty Picture (Hindi), Balgandharva (Marathi),Anhe Ghorey Da Daan (Punjabi), Deool (Marathi)  & Ranjana Ami ArAshbo Na (Bengali).  Six films have won two awards each. These areChillar Party (Hindi),  Azhagarsamiyin Kuthirai (Tamil),Aaranyakandam (Tamil), Phijigee Mani (Manipuri) , Zindagi Na MilegiDobara (Hindi) & Game (Hindi). 

            The  Best Actor award goes to Girish Kulkarni for film Deool(Marathi) and Best Actress to Vidya Balan for the film The Dirty Picture (Hindi). Azhagarsamiyin Kuthirai (Tamil) won the award for Wholesome Entertainment, Chillar Party (Hindi) won Best Children Film, Best Director to  Gurvinder Singh for Punjabi  film Anhe Ghorey Da Daan , Best Singer toAnand Bhate (Male)  for Marathi film Balgandharva and Roopa Ganguly(Female) for the Bengali film Abosheyshey .  Kumararaja Thiagarajan has won the Indira Gandhi Award for Best Debut film of a Director.

In the Non-Feature film category, three films have won two awards each.  The Film Tiger Dynasty has won the Best Environmental Film & Best Cinematography awards.  Awards for Best Direction and Best Editing have been taken away by the film There is Something in the Air.  FilmPanchakki has been awarded Best Short Fiction and Best Music Direction.

The number of entries in all the three broad sections of awards ----Feature Films, Non-Feature Films and Best writing on Cinema have been increasing year by year.  The number of entries for 2011 stood at 186 in the feature films category, which is the highest in the history of the National Film Awards.  Last year, 161 entries were received in this category. Entries in the non-feature films category have also steadily rising  and this year 156 entries as compared to 113 last year.  More and  more authors and writers are now sending their entries for awards in Best Writing on Cinema category.

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