The Vice President of India, M Venkaiah Naidu today conferred National Film Awards for the year 2018 in various categories at its 66th edition, held at New Delhi. Union Minister for Information & Broadcasting (I&B), Prakash Javadekar; Secretary, Ministry of I&B, Ravi Mittal; Chairperson, Feature Film Category, Rahul Rawail; Chairperson, Non-Feature Film Category, AS Kanal; Chairperson, Best Writing on Cinema, Utpal Borpujari and other dignitaries were also present on the occasion.
Some of the prominent winners in various categories for this year National Film Awards includes Gujarati film Hellaroin in the Best Feature Film category. Badhaai Ho bagged the award for Best popular film providing wholesome entertainment, Hindi movie Padmanwas awarded Best Film on social Issues, Aditya Dhar won Best Director Award for Uri: The Surgical Strike, Ayushman Khurana and Vicky Kaushal jointly won Best Actor Award for their performances in Andhadhun and Uri: The Surgical Strike, while Keerthy Suresh bagged Best Actress trophy for her performance in Telugu movie Mahanati. Marathi movie Naal got the Indira Gandhi Award for Best Debut Film of a Director while another Marathi movie Paani won the award for Best Film on Environment Conservation/ Preservation. Nargis Dutt Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration was given to Kannada film Ondalla Eradalla and Uttarakhand was awarded the Most Film Friendly State.
Amitabh Bachchan, could not attend today’s function due to ill-health will be presented with the prestigious 50th Dadasaheb Phalke Award, Indian cinema’s biggest honour in his 50th year in the Indian film industry, later.
Speaking on the occasion, the Vice President spoke on how Violence has no place in democracy and that Film makers must make conscious effort to ensure that dialogues, depiction of characters and costumes reflect India’s culture, customs, practices and traditions. He further added that Cinema should also help in strengthening family systems and promoting democratic values.
The Vice President while complementing the film industry expressed how cinemas must be used for social change, “I call upon the film fraternity to curb the depiction of violence, vulgarity and obscenity in view of the huge impact films make on the masses, particularly youngsters. Art speaks a universal language and helps shape social norms”.
Talking about Indian films popularity globally and how cinemas has no geographical or religious boundaries because it speaks a universal language and touches the raw emotions, the Vice President said “Indian films carry an important message to audiences across the world. They convey a glimpse of ‘Indianness’ or ‘Bharatheeyatha’ to the outside world. We need to be effective ambassadors in the world of cultural diplomacy”.
Highlighting that Indian cinemas have gained global popularity and that there is great demand for it, Union Minister for Information &Broadcasting, Prakash Javadekar stated, “Our theatre and our films is our asset, it is our soft power and we must harness to take advantage of this. To ease the process of film shooting permissions and clearances, we have prepared a single window system at Films Division. We are also in the process of implementing this regionally”.
Congratulating the Award winners, Javadekar dwelt upon the magical world of cinema and the talent that goes behind creating it, “Film is such an art that as Vishwakarma creates a world, the filmmaker also creates a new world and we immerse ourselves in that world”, stated the Minister.