National Film Awardees threatened to boycott the ceremony

Ram Nath Kovind

Ram Nath Kovind

Amidst controversy, the 65th National Film Awards ceremony was held at the Vigyan Bhavan on Thursday where Union Ministers Smriti Irani and Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore facilitated the winners. The president felicitated winners in prominent categories such as the Dadasaheb Phalke Award for Vinod Khanna, best actress for Sridevi, best playback singer male for KJ Yesudas, best actor for Sen and AR Rahman in two categories- best music director and background score.

Actor Riddhi, the Best Actor victor for the film "Nagarkirtan", will receive the honour from the President. Both these awards were accepted by their family members. More than 80 winners of the National Film Awards decided not to attend the event after learning that only 11 awards will be presented by President Ram Nath Kovind.

It is hard to say who is to blame more, the President's office or the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting that organised the awards function, but there is no doubt that amends need to be made.

'This is the sentiments of an ordinary technician working in the Indian Film Industry.

The National Film Awards is the most prominent film award ceremony in India that was established in 1954.

I do not know if it was special for all of them, but I'm sure it was special for some of them! Many artists from Malayalam filmdom, who won maximum number of awards, chose to skip the ceremony. So, in effect, we became the highest-taxed industry! By not attending, they merely conveyed their grief over not getting the chance to receive the award from the President. Their aspirations and ambitions got crushed! People who have objections to this had the option of not sending their entries.

Many awardees were angry because of organisers using dummies to fill up the seats.

"With due respect to the 10-11 specially-chosen recipients, every recipient of the National Award is equally special".

"President attends all award functions and convocations for a maximum of one hour". And on the big day, Suresh Gopi's name was first called and I was little sad over it. That they though all of us to be worthy of this honour is recognition in itself. We wouldn't have felt bad. I got 30 scripts in the last 4-6 months and it is the first time that I haven't given my nod to anyone, as I am hands full until November-December.

We would have clapped in joy at your choice.

"We feel insulted. Around 75 awardees are threatening to boycott the award ceremony today", National Award-winning Marathi film director Prakash Oak said earlier.

Unfortunately, Joshi, Irani and the I&B Ministry are turning a blind eye towards how they have belittled the sanctity of India's most prestigious film awards. President's hand is our privilege, our honour and our dream!.

Pookutty said that it's always the film's technicians, the unsung heroes, who get sidelined.

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