President Pranab Mukherjee Confers Films Awards and Releases Postal Stamps of 50 Iconic Personalities of Indian Cinema

New Delhi: The President, Pranab Mukherjee today conferred the film awards for the year 2012 in various categories at the 60th National Film Awards Function held at the Vigyan Bhawan. In his address, the President, Pranab Mukherjee said, Cinema must be used to portray positive societal values for building a tolerant and harmonious India. The film industry ought to take steps to ensure that cinema was morally energizing. The President lauded the initiatives taken by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting such as Single window clearance for shooting the films in India. In his address, the President also complimented the Dada Saheb Phalke winner Pran for his contribution to Indian Cinema.

Also speaking on the occasion, Minister for Information & Broadcasting, Manish Tewari, said the 60th National Film Awards had seen the inclusion of many new categories which had made the awards inclusive and had thereby encouraged quality cinema. The presence of films with innovative themes at the 60th NFA had proved that the Indian film industry was playing a proactive role in articulating issues and prejudices that had been historically embedded in our society. Indian Cinema, Tewari said, had been the mirror of our milieu and had an incisive influence on the evaluation of our society. Internationally Indian Cinema had evolved to cater to the taste of International audiences. The Indian Film Industry through its journey had been able to institutionalise and project India’s soft power externally.

As a tribute to Indian film making, the Minister announced that the Government was instituting a “Centenary Award” that would be given every year starting this year, recognising a paradigm transformation in film making and honouring individuals or films that had profoundly influenced contemporary, socio cultural evolution. Tewari also stated that in order to encourage parallel cinema, the Government was planning an image makeover for Mahadev Auditorium with a view to make it the “Hub of Alternative Cinema”.

In this context, the Minister said the Auditorium which was being used for screenings only on special occasions would be modelled along the lines of Prithvi Theatre in Mumbai to not just screen documentaries, small budget films but also provide a forum for film makers and connoisseurs to discuss the film making. Regarding the initiative of the ministry of taking a fresh look of the Cinematographic Act, Tewari said the Committee constituted under Justice Mudgal would aim to find a golden mean between creative essence and aesthetic sensitivity. While complimenting all the recipients on the various awards, the Minister specially congratulated Dadasaheb Phalke Award winner, Pran for his contribution to Indian Cinema.

The highlight of the evening was the release of postal stamps of 50 iconic personalities of Indian Cinema by the President, Pranab Mukherjee to commemorate the century long journey of Indian cinema. Speaking on the occasion, Minister for IT & Communications Kapil Sibal said, Department of Posts had given a fitting tribute to the powerful medium called Cinema by issuing 50 new stamps, a biggest release ever. The film personalities depicted in stamps released by the President include Ashok Kumar, Bhalji Pendharkar, Durga Khote, Dev Annad, Yash Chopra, Smita Patil, Rajesh Khanna, Shammi Kapoor, Suraiya, Geeta Dutt, Sohrab Modi, Tapan Sinha, C.V. Sridhar, Bhanumathi etc.

At the 60th NFA, the award for the best feature film was conferred on Paan Singh Tomar (Hindi) produced by UTV Software communications Ltd. and directed by Tigmanshu Dhulia . In non-feature film category, the award for the Best Film was conferred to Shepherds of Paradise (Gojri & Urdu) produced and directed by Raja Shabir Khan. In the category of Best Writing on Cinema section, the book Silent Cinema in India – A Pictorial Journey (English) written by B.D. Garga and published by Harper Collins Publisher India bagged the top honour, whereas P.S. Radhakrishnan was conferred the award for the Best film Critic.

In the Feature Film category, a total of 38 films from 14 languages were selected for the 60th National Awards. Chittagong (Hindi) and 101 Chodiyangal(Malayalam) shared the Indira Gandhi award for the Best Debut Film of a Director. The award for the Best Popular Film for providing wholesome entertainment was shared by Vicky Donor (Hindi) and Ustad Hotel (Malayalam). The award for the Best Director was given to Shivaji Lotan Patil for the film Dhag (Marathi). The award for the Best Actor was jointly shared between Irrfaan playing the title role in Paan Singh Tomar and Vikram Gokhale for the film Anumati (Marathi). The award for the Best Actress was conferred on Ms Usha Jadhav for her performance in Dhag (Marathi). The award for the best Supporting Actor was conferred on Anu Kapurfor the film Vicky Donor. The award for the best supporting Actress has been shared by Ms Dolly Ahluwalia for the film Vicky Donor and Ms Kalpana for the film ThanichallaNjan (Malyalam). The Best Child Artist award has been shared by Master Virendra Pratap for Dekh Indian Circus (Hindi) and Master Minon for 101 Chodiyangal (Malayalam).

The award for the Best Male playback singer has been conferred on Shankar Mahadevan for the song Bolo Na from the film Chittagong. The award for the Best Female Playback singer has been conferred on Ms Aarti Ankalikar-Tikekar for the song Palakein Naa Moon Don from the film Samhita (Marathi). The award for the best Screen play writer (original) has been conferred on Sujoy Ghosh for the film Kahaani. The award for best Screen play writer (adapted) has been conferred on BhaveshMandalia and Umesh Shukla for the film Oh My God. The award for the best Dialogue has been conferred on Ms Anjali Menon for the film Ustad Hotel (Malayalam). The award for the best lyrics has been conferred on Prasoon Joshi for the song Bolo Na from the film Chittagong. A special jury award has been conferred on RituparnoGhosh and Nawazuddin Siddiqui for the films Chitrangadha (Bengali), Kahaani, Gangs of Wasseypur, Dekh Indian circus and Talaash (Hindi). The award for the best choreography has been conferred on Pt. Birju Maharaj for the film Vishwaroopam (Tamil).

In the Non-Feature Film category, Vikrant Pawar has got the Best Director award for the film Kaatal (Marathi). The Award for the Best Debut Film of a Director has been conferred to Lipika Singh Darai for the film Eka Gachha Eka Manisa Eka Samudra (Odia). Shumona Goel and Shai Heredia for the film I Am Micro (English) andVasudah Joshi for Cancer Katha (English) have been selected for Special Jury Award. Timbaktu (English) has been awarded as the Best film in the Environmental category and Dreaming Taj Mahal ( Hindi & Urdu) has been conferred the award for the Best Promotional film.

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