After almost every award ceremony, what follows is an outburst of articles, tweets, posts and trolls which mock — for some reason or other — some of the winners or nominees. For instance, this year’s  Oscars had received criticism for having an all white nomination list. Infact, the National Awards in India have been found guilty of being biased towards mainstream cinema.

This year for a change, the things were a bit different with the movies like PikuTanu Weds Manu Returns, and Bajirao Mastani bagging 10 major awards. They  not only deserved to be awarded but these were the  movies that had a good run at the box office. But still, there are areas where the jury seems to have gone astray. But unlike the year 2005, when Saif Ali Khan was awarded the Best Actor for Hum Tum instead of Shah Rukh Khan for Swades, this year there was no such controversy. 

The reason why people react in a particular manner after the announcement of the list of National Award winners is due to the pride and national recognition that comes along with it. Also, a National Award  can change the league of lesser-known regional films which otherwise remain confined to  limited audiences. A National award immediately gets them a recognition. And it also results in transformation of its commercial success.  

The reason why people react in a particular manner after the list of National Award winners is announced is that it’s one of the few forums where even regional cinema is given nation-wide recognition.

Ironically, there is a flip side to this theory — should popularity or the commercial success stand in the way of a National Award?  No can question the jury’s selection of Kangana Ranaut for the Best Actress for her role in Tanu Weds Manu Returns or Juhi Chaturvedi for writing Piku, Himanshu Sharma for writing Tanu Weds Manu Returns. Hence, it would be unwise to undermine the efforts  of an individual depending upon his or her movies’s performance at the box office.   

Although the jury members’ say holds weight but the the final decision is reached via consensus. If you go through the list of winners this year, especially for the winners in the technical categories, you would agree that the jury’s choice was obvious. For both Tanu Weds Manu Returns and Piku were movies that were not only written beautifully but the also the actors managed  to get into the skin of the characters. Similarly, Salman Khan’s Bajrangi Bhaijaan did well across the country. Hence, it was not surprising that it was selected as the best popular film providing wholesome entertainment.

 This year’s list of winners suggests that the jury has sent out a strong message. And while going through the list of  winners, one also feels that it’s mainstream cinema which dominates the list, but that is not true. For the line that divides mainstream from the others is getting finer and finer over the years. As a young filmmakers are pushing the — not just in Hindi cinema but also in regional films.  

Masaan (Best Debut Director) or Dum Laga ke Haisha (Best Hindi Film, Best Lyrics), Ringan (Best Marathi Film) and Visaranai (Best Tamil Film, Best Editing, Best Supporting Actor) are indeed as spectacular as Baahubali. And the first three of the above mentioned four films are directed by first-time filmmakers.

Also, it’s worth mentioning here that there were 72 first-time filmmakers competing in various categories for the National Awards.  One can say, that with the emergence of younger lot of filmmakers — the Indian cinema will surely witness a revival and it’s on the right path.

Here are the winners:

Best Actress: Kangana Ranaut, Tanu Weds Manu Returns

Best Actor: Amitabh Bachchan, Piku

Best Supporting Actress: Tanvi Azmi, Bajirao Mastani

Best Supporting Actor: Samuthirakani, Visaaranai

Best Director: Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Bajirao Mastani

Best Debut Director: Neeraj Ghaywan, Masaan

Best Feature Film: Baahubali

Best Wholesome Family Entertainer: Bajrangi Bhaijaan

Special Jury Award: Kalki Koechlin, Margarita, With A Straw

Best Film on National Integration: Nanak Shah Fakir

Best Film on Social Issue: Nirnnayakam

Best Film on Environment Conservation/Preservation: Valiya Chirakulla Pakshikal

Best Choreographer: Remo D’ Souza, Bajirao Mastani

Best Cinematography: Sudeep Chaterjee, Bajirao Mastani

Best Production Design: Bajirao Mastani

Best Special Effects: Baahubali

Best Editing: Late Kishore T E, Visaaranai

Best Costume Designer and Best Make-Up Artist: Payal Saluja, Nanak Shah Fakir

Best Original Screenplay and Dialogue: Juhi Chaturvedi and Himanshu Sharma, Piku and Tanu Weds Manu Returns

Best Adapted Screenplay: Vishal Bhardwaj, Talvar

Best Playback Singer (Female): Monali Thakur, Moh Moh Ke Dhage

Best Playback Singer (Male): Mahesh Kale, Katyar Kaljat Ghusili

Best Lyricist: Varun Grover, Moh Moh Ke Dhaage

Best Music Director: M Jayachandran, Ennu Ninte Moideen

Best Music Direction, Background Score: Ilaiyaraaja, Tharai Thappattai

Best Audiography, Location Sound Recordist: Sanjay Kurian, Talvar

Best Audiography, Sound Designer: Biswadeep Chatterjee, Bajirao Mastani

Best Audiography, Re-recordist of the Final Mixed Track: Justin Jose, Bajirao Mastani

Most Film-Friendly State: Gujarat

Best Children’s Film: Duronto

Best Hindi Film: Dum Laga Ke Haisha

Best Tamil Film: Visaaranai

Best Malayalam Film: Pathemari

Best Sanskrit Film: Priyamanasam

Best Kannada FilmThithi

Best Marathi Film: Ringan

Best Maithili Film: Mithila Makhaan

Best Punjabi Film: Chauthi Koot

Best Bengali Film: Sankhachil

Best Konkani Film: Enemy

Best Assamese Film: Kothanodi

Best Haryanvi Film: Satrangi

Best Wancho Film: The Head Hunter

Best Khasi Film: Onaatah

Best Manipuri Film: Eibusu Yaohanbiyu

Best Mizo Film: Kima’s Lode Beyond the Class

Best Bodo Film: Dau Huduni Methai

Best Odiya Film: Pahada Ra Luha

Special Mentions: Ritika Singh for Irudhi Suttru, Jayasurya for Su Su Sudhi Vathmeekam and Lukka Chuppi, Rinku Rajguru for Sairat

Best Non Feature Film: Amdavad Ma Famous (Gujarati)

Best Art Cultural Film: A Far Afternoon – A Painted Saga

Best Biographical: Life in a Metaphor

Best Short Fiction Film: Aushad (Marathi)

Best Animation Award: Fisherwoman and Tuktuk

Best Social Film Award: Autodriver

Best Music (Non feature): A Far Afternoon


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