The National Film Awards is one of the most prestigious film awards all over India. Several awardees are appointed across different categories who beam with pride at having received the award and also deliver winning speeches that fills everyone with admiration and emotion. Sheer hard work, experience and patience are qualities you can find in people producing brilliant films. The National Film Awards credit the experts and motivate producers, directors, song writers to achieve excellency in their career of film making.
In this article, we will talk about “what is National Film Awards”, “Jury of the National Film Awards”, “Eligibility”, “National Film Awards 2022 winners list“, “who bagged the most National Film Awards in the past, and “Visible trends of awardees in the National Film Awards spanning decades”.
So, let us start our reading journey without any further delay!
What is National Film Awards?
- National Film Awards is a prestigious award that is granted across several film award categories in India. The initiative started in 1954 with the awards being termed “State awards”. It is being administered since 1973 by the Indian government’s Directorate of Film Festivals. The Directorate is an organisation that is set up by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in India. However, it does not participate in the selection process of the winners. For that purpose, a national panel is put in place by the government who plays a direct role in selecting the awardees of the National Film Awards.
- The chief aim of the National Film Awards is to encourage the production of films of considerable aesthetic appeal, social relevance and technical excellence by prizing them. Moreover, since the awards are presented across various cultures, communities and languages, it promotes unity in diversity.
- The National Film Awards ceremony is annually held in the capital city of India New Delhi and the President of the country presents these prestigious awards to selected winners. The awards are distributed not only in the languages mentioned in the Constitution of India but also in the unspecified languages. The awardees are gifted medallion, certificate and cash prizes.
Jury of National Film Awards
The jury is the national panel appointed by the Indian government’s Directorate of Film Festivals. These are usually members who are “distinguished in the field of cinema, other allied arts and humanities”. There are certain norms that every jury member must adhere to or abide by while selecting the films or the appointees that will be awarded with the National Film Awards. Thus, the films need to successfully pass the test of eligibility first in order to proceed to the final stage of appointment. There are 10 jury members which are as follows:
- Vipul Shah
- Sanjeev Rattan
- Dharam Gulati
- V N Aditya
- GS Bhaskar
- S Thangadurai
- Sreelekha Mukherjee
- Viji Thampi
- A Karthikraaja
The films were eligible only because they were certified by the Central Board of Film Certification between 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2020. Similarly, entries were already made between the same period regarding the Best Writing on Cinema section which made them eligible for the award contest.
National Film Awards 2022 full list
- The announcement of the winners for National Film Awards for 2020 films have been made on Friday, 22 July 2022 at a press conference in New Delhi. The conference was also streamed on the “PIB India” YouTube channel. This is the 68th edition of the National Film Awards 2022 that will be granted to the best Indian films of 2020. The prizes will be handed over in an award ceremony at a later date. Since Droupadi Murmu is the newly elected Indian President starting her tenure from 2022, she will be presenting the awards to their respective winners.
- Generally, the awards are announced based on the films preceding the year, however, due to the pandemic situation in the country, the announcement of the winners for 2020 films got delayed. It was initially slated to be on 3 May 2021. Now with the Covid-19 situation in control, the jury members have declared the winners for the National Film Awards on 22 July 2022.
- The National Film Awards are generally distributed among three main categories, Feature Film Awards, Non-Feature Film Awards and Writing on Cinema. Further, Golden Lotus Awards, Silver Lotus Awards are presented to the winners. Apart from that, regional and other awards are also meted out across various films.
- The best film friendly state is Madhya Pradesh as it is the location most of the filmakers prefer owing to several reasons like ease of permit, hassle-free clearance etc. The state will be receiving Rajat Kamal and a Certificate.
- The Dadasaheb Phalke award which is the highest award in Indian cinema presented during the National Film Awards ceremony will be announced at a later meeting date.
Let us look at the National Film Awards 2022 for films released in 2020:
Golden Lotus Awards
- The Tamil film Soorarai Pottru won the best feature film in Indian cinema. The awardees are its director Sudha Kongara and the producers Suriya, his wife Jyothika and Guneet Monga. The cash prize is Rs 250,000 for every awardee.
- Another Tamil feature film, Mandela won the Best Debut Film of a Director Award. The cash prize for Mandonne Ashwin is Rs 125,000.
- The Malayalam film Ayyappanum Koshiyum won the Best Direction award and the awardee is Sanchidanadan KR (Sachy). He passed away in 2020 and the award is granted posthumously for his final film. The cash prize amounts to Rs 250,000.
- The Bollywood film Tanhaji directed by Om Raut and co-produced by Ajay Devgan, Bhushan Kumar and Krishan Kumar won the award for “Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment. The producers and the director will receive a cash prize of Rs 200,000.
- The Marathi film Sumi won the “Best Children’s Film” award. Its producer is Harshal Kamat Entertainment and director and writer are Amol Vasant Gole and Sanjeev K Kha respectively. They will each receive a cash prize of Rs 1,50,000.
Silver Lotus Awards
- Best Film on Other Social Issues- Three Sisters (Bengali), Justice Delayed, But Delivered (Hindi)
- Best Film on Environment Conservation/Preservation – Taledanda (Kannada)
- Best Film on Social Issues – Funeral (Marathi)
- Best Actor- Suriya (Soorarai Pottru), Ajay Devgn (Tanhaji)
- Best Actress – Aparna Balamurali (Soorarai Pottru)
- Best Supporting Actress- Biju Menon (Ayyappanum Koshiyum), Lakshmi Priyaa Chandramouli (Tamil film: Sivaranjiniyum Innum Sila Pengalum)
- Best Child Artist- Anish Mangesh Gosavi (Marathi film: Tak-Tak); Akanksha Pingle, Divyesh Indulkar (Marathi film: Sumi)
- Best Male Playback Singer- Rahul Deshpande (Marathi film: Mi Vasantrao)
- Best Female Playback Singer- Nanjiyamma ( Film: Ayyappanum Koshiyum; Song: Kalakkatha)
- Best Cinematography- Supratim Bhol ( Bengali film: Avijatrik )
- Best Screenplay (screenplay writer)- Sudha Kongara, Shalini Usha Nair (Soorarai Pottru)
- Best Screenplay (dialogues)- Madonne Ashwin (film: Mandela)
- Best Audiography- Jobin Jayan ( Kannada film: Dollu); Anmol Bhave (Marathi film: Me Vasantrao); Sree Sankar; Vishnu Govind (Malayalam film: Malik)
- Best Music Direction- S. Thaman ( Telegu film: Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo); G. V. Prakash Kumar (film: Soorarai Pottru)
- Best Lyrics- Manoj Muntashir (Hindi film: Saina)
- Best editing- A. Sreekar Prasad (Tamil film: Sivaranjiniyum Innum Sila Pengalum)
- Best Production Design- Anees Nadodi (Malayalam film: Kappela)
- Best Makeup Artist- TV Rambabu (Telugu film: Natyam)
- Best Choreography- Sandhya Raju (Telugu film: Natyam)
- Best Costume Design- Nachiket Barve
- Mahesh Sherla (Hindi film: Tanhaji)
- Best Stunt Choreography- Rajasekhar, Mafia Nasi, Supreme Sundat (Malayalam film: Ayyappanum Koshiyum)
- Special Jury Award- Ojaswee Sharma (Hindi and English film: Admitted)
- Special Mention- Aimee Baruah (Dimasa film: Semkhor); Kavya Prakash (Malayalam film: Vaanku); Siddharth Menon (Marathi film: June); Kishore Kadam (Marathi film: Godakaath, Avwanchhit); Varun Buddhadev ( Hindi film: Toolsidas Junior)
- The Best Book on Cinema award went to Kishwar Desai’s “The Longest Kiss” that deals with the story of Devika Rani who is often mentioned “The First Lady of Indian Cinema”.
- Best Feature Film in Assamese- Bridge
- Best Feature Film in Bengali- Avijatrik
- Best Feature Film in Hindi- Toolsidas Junior
- Best Feature Film in Kannada- Dollu
- Best Feature Film in Malayalam- Thinkalazhcha Nishchayam
- Best Feature Film in Marathi- Goshta Eka Paithanichi
- Best Feature Film in Tamil- Sivaranjiniyum Innum Sila Pengalum
- Best Feature Film in Telugu- Colour Photo
Best Feature Films in languages not mentioned in the Constitution (Schedule VIII)
- Best Feature Film in Haryanvi- Dada Lakhmi
- Best Feature Film in Tulu- Jeetige
- Best Feature Film in Dimasa- Semkhor
Who bagged the most National Film Awards in the past?
Hindi film veteran actress Shabana Azmi got The Best Actress Award six times consecutively, for her films “Arth (1982)”, “Khandhar (1984)” and “Paar (1984)”. She is followed by Sharada and Kangana Ranaut who bagged the award three times and Smita Patil, Archana, Shobhana and Tabu with two wins.
Six films of the icon Satyajit Ray garnered the Best Feature Film Awards spanning four decades. The films released in chronological order are as follows:
- Pather Panchali (1955)
- Apur Sansar (1959)
- Charulata (1964)
- Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne (1968)
- Seemabaddha (1971)
- Agantuk (1991)
In 1997, Rituparno’s feature film “Dahan” won several awards. The Best Actress Award went to Indrani Haldar and Rituparna Sengupta. Vijay Agarwal and Kalpana Agarwal along with Rituparno Ghosh were the other awardees for the film. The latter also bagged the Best Screenplay award.
Seven films starring the “King of Bollywood”, Shah Rukh Khan received the “Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment” Award. These films are as follows:
- Darr (1993)
- Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge (1995)
- Dil To Pagal Hai (1997)
- Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998)
- Devdas (2002)
- Veer-Zaara (2004)
- Chak De! India (2007)
Visible trends of awardees in the National Film Awards spanning decades
Judging by the fact that recent films like “Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior (2020), Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi (2019)”, Uri: The Surgical Strike” (2018) and Marakkar: Arabikadalinte Simham (2019) bagged the National Film Awards, we can say that there is an ongoing trend of selecting films that is an expression of nationalism and patriotism. The trend seems to one that celebrates warriors, both men and women. Calling it an inclination toward machoism would preferably be right.
If we carefully look over the decade, we can find Bollywood films bagging several National Film Awards in different categories. Be it Best Actor, Best Children’s Film, Best Music Direction, Best Supporting Actress, Bollywood seems to be omnipresent.
It is sometimes said that the National Film Awards which is deemed the pristine and the unbiased awards of all is even getting subjected to nepotism. Infact, 60 awardees wrote an open letter to the then President of India, Ram Nath Kovind raising concerns on one such occassion. There are no particular evidences to backup such claims.
For now, we can safely conclude that the National Film Awards are meted out to those who does an outstanding job in the field of cinema. We all remain in high hopes to see our preferable actors, directors, writers win this prestigious award. Let us hope the future of India will be able to witness more such talented people and their incredible work being appreciated through Indian cinema.
Additionally, the National Film Awards 2022 winners list is certainly a long one that proves one thing: Indian cinema is incredible.