Published: 23rd July 2022
WhatTheFAQ: All that's interesting about the 68th National Film Awards
The National Film Awards this year have been very intriguing. Hindi, Tamil and Malayalam films have performed extremely well and bagged the most awards. Here's more about the big night
Are you a movie buff? Or someone who binges on celeb gossip? Well, then, here is something very interesting. The 68th National Film awards were announced on the night of July 23, Friday. And so much has happened already in this one night that social media handles and entertainment columns are agog with posts. Tamil drama Soorarai Pottru managed to bag five national awards, while Hindi historical-action Tanhaji won three. And Ajay Devgn won the Best Actor Award along with Suriya. What else are the highlights? And what special happened during the awards ceremony? Let’s take a look.
First, who won the most significant awards?
- Best Feature Film: Soorarai Pottru
- Best Director: Sachidanandan KR for Ayyappanum Koshiyum (Malayalam)
- Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment: Tanhaji
- Best Actor: Suriya for Soorarai Pottru and Ajay Devgn for Tanhaji
- Best Actress: Aparna Balamurali for Soorarai Pottru
- Best Supporting Actor: Biju Menon for Ayyappanum Koshiyam
- Best Supporting Actress: Lakshmi Priya Chandramouli for Sivaranjaniyum Innam Sila Pengallum (Tamil)
- Best Action Direction Award: AK Ayyappanum Koshiyum
- Best Feature Film in Hindi: Toolsidas Junior
- Best Screenplay: Soorarai Pottru
What's the word on the street?
Filmmaker Om Raut thanked the cast and crew of Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior, after the film’s big wins. He has made a special mention of Saif Ali Khan and stated that the actor’s support was crucial. Ajay Devgn says he was “elated” on winning his third National Award for best actor.
Meanwhile, Akshay Kumar congratulated Suriya on his big win. And actor Aju Varghese has taken to Twitter to congratulate him today, July 23, on his birthday. Child actor Varun Buddhadeb received a special mention by the jury for Toolsidas Junior. The director of this film has dedicated the National Award to the late actor Rajeev Kapoor.
How are films selected for the awards?
This year, about 400 films competed for the awards. The Directorate of Film Festivals invited the entries online and the acceptable last date for entries was March 12, 2021. Films in any Indian language, shot on 16 mm, 35 mm, a wider film gauge or a digital format, and released in cinemas, on video or digital formats for home viewing were eligible to enter. However, only those films certified by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) between January 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020 were eligible. The films were required to be certified as a feature film, a featurette or a Documentary/Newsreel/Non-Fiction (non-feature) by CBFC.
Then a jury decides on the winners. This year, it was a ten-member jury, led by filmmaker Vipul Shah. Other members included cinematographers Dharam Gulati, GS Bhaskar, A Karthikraaja, directors VN Aditya, Viji Thampi, S Thangadurai and actors Sreelekha Mukherjee, Nishigandha and Sanjeev Rattan.
What are some of the other special award categories?
Both the feature and non-feature films are presented with two types of awards, the Golden Lotus (Swarna Kamal) Award and the Silver Lotus (Rajat Kamal) Award. There are some interesting categories like Best Children’s Film, Best Regional Films and the most film-friendly state are also considered in the National Awards. This year, Madhya Pradesh won the most film-friendly state award, while Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh got special mentions by the jury.
Not only films, but books, critical studies, reviews or articles on cinema published in Indian newspapers, magazines, and journals between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020, are also awarded under the Best Writing on cinema section. However, entries of dubbed, revised or copied versions of a film or translation, abridgements, edited or annotated works and reprints are not considered for the awards.
What else is interesting about the National Film Awards?
The National Film Awards are presented by the Directorate of Film Festivals to honour the best films in Indian cinema every year. However, there is a two-year gap rule which is followed. The awards in 2022 were presented for 2020, and the films of this year will be awarded in 2024. Last year, the awards were announced but not presented at a ceremony due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year, Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting Anurag Thakur took to Twitter to announce the award ceremony. The awards were presented at the National Media Centre in New Delhi. The awards aim at encouraging the study and appreciation of cinema as an art form and dissemination of information and critical appreciation of this art form.