2 Sep : The President Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil presented the 54th National Film Awards to winners of different categories at a function this evening in New Delhi. The Dada Saheb Phalke Award for the year 2006 was awarded to eminent Film Director Shri Tapan.
Since Shri Tapan Sinha could not come personally because of illness, his son Anindya Sinha received the award. The award is given by the Government of India for outstanding contribution in the field of Indian Cinema. The Award carries a cash price of Rs.Ten lakhs, a Swaran Kamal and a Shawl. Shri Tapan Sinha’s work has won 19 National Film Awards in various categories apart from laurels in international film festivals.
One time Lifetime Achievement Awards were presented to Thespian Dilip Kumar and veteran actress Saroja Devi. The award for Melody Queen Lata Mangeshkar was received by her nephew Shri Adinath Mangeshkar. Shri Tapan Sinha was presented his award in June this year in Kolkata. These awards were given to commemorate the 60th anniversary of India’s freedom. Each of the award carries a cash prize of Rs. 10 lakhs, a citation and a shawl.
In her speech, the President said the annual film awards provide an opportunity to identify new talent as well as honour excellence in the field of cinema. This vast and ever growing popularity of cinema has nourished and ensured a steady and ever increasing audience, which needs to be carefully nurtured, so that they appreciate and accept all that is higher and nobler in life. Women’s viewpoint and the question of their empowerment, are important social issues that need to be highlighted by the film makers, the President said. Full text of President’s speech is available on website i.e. http://presidentofindia.nic.in.
Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Shri P.R.Dasmunsi said the National Film Awards have not only brought many a talent to the fore but have also helped in encouraging films from various regional cinemas that may perhaps not have come into national recognition. A record number of entries by the first time film makers both in the feature film and non-feature film section reflects a very healthy trends. While films do a great service to our people, they have social responsibility to ensure that religious and cultural distortion and misunderstandings do not reflect in their films, he said. Films must be able to inspire and awake this sense of common unity, within the film lovers of the country. The Minister said we need more talented writers, critics and film appreciators who will mirror, dissect and analyse the films produced. This strengthens the roots of our secularism and democracy.
Awards were presented in 31 different categories in the Feature Film Section and 22 categories in the Non-Feature Film Section. Three awards were given for the Best Writing on Cinema. Some the major awards to be presented are as under:
The Best Feature Film Award for the year 2006 was given to the Malayalam film “Pulijanmam’’. The Award carries a Swarna Kamal and Rs.2,50,000 each for the Producer and the Director of the film. Swarna Kamal and cash prize of Rs.2,00,000 each for the Producer and the Director for “Best Popular Film providing wholesale entertainment” was given to Hindi film “Lage Raho Munna Bhai”. Nargis Dutt Award for the Best Feature Film on National Integration was presented for Kannada film “Kallarli Huvagi”. The Award carries Rajat Kamal and cash prize of Rs 1,50,000 each for Producer and Director of the film. The Indira Gandhi Award for the Best First Film of a Director was shared by “Eakantham” (Malayalam) directed by Madhu Kaithapuram and “Kabul Express” (Hindi) directed by Kabir Khan. The Award for the best film on social issues was given to the Telugu film, “Hope”. The Award for the Best direction was received by Madhur Bhandarker for the film ‘Traffic Signal’ (Hindi) for weaving in the lives, livelihoods and concerns of the street dwellers in a metro and the inspiring stand that makes the protagonist a role model across society. Best Actor Award was given to Soumitra Chatterjee for his role in “Podokkhep” (Bengali) for etching the agonies and elations of an elderly person trying to keep peace with changing times while the Award for Best Actress was received by Priyamani for her role in Tamil film “Paruthi Veeran”.
The Award for the Best Child Artist was given to Divya Chahadkar for her role in Konkani film, “Antarnad”. Gurdas Mann has received the Award for the Best Male Playback Singer and Aarti Anklekar Tikekar got the Best Female Playback singer award. The Special Jury Award was given to director Vishal Bhardwaj for Hindi film Omkara for an outstanding film that synergizes international treatment with an earthly rooted sensibility.
The award for the best book on cinema was presented to Jerry Pinto for his book ‘Helen: The Life and Times of an H. Bomb’ for an insightful and witty account of a marginal yet iconic persona of the Hindi cinema. The award for the best film critic were received jointly by G. P. Ramachandran (Malayalam) and Rafique A. R. Baghdadi (English).
Two new categories of awards for Best Make-up Artist and Best Animation Film have been introduced this year, besides raising the prize money by five times over last year.