The Vice President of India, Shri M Venkaiah Naidu today conferred National Film Awards for the year 2019 in various categories at its 67th edition along with the prestigious Dada Saheb Phalke Award. Union Minister for Information & Broadcasting (I&B), Shri Anurag Singh Thakur, Union Minister of State for I&B Dr. L. Murugan, Secretary, Ministry of I&B, Shri Apurva Chandra, Chairpersons of Jury and other dignitaries were present at the event in New Delhi.
Speaking after presenting the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke award to popular actor Shri Rajnikanth and national awards to actors of cinemas of various languages, the Vice President said a film should be a vehicle with a higher purpose—a carrier of social, moral and ethical message. “Moreover, films should refrain from highlighting violence and should voice society’s disapproval of social evils,’ he added.
Observing that a good film has the power to touch hearts and minds, Shri Naidu said cinema is the cheapest entertainment in the world and urged filmmakers and artists to use it for the betterment of the people, society and nation.
Stressing the need for cinema to usher in positivity and happiness, he said “Experience tells us that a film with a message has lasting appeal”. Apart from entertainment, cinema also has the power to provide enlightenment.
Speaking on the occasion Shri Anurag Thakur said that entertainment should be equally accessible to all sections of society. This Government has made COVID19 vaccine accessible to both the rich and poor and similarly both the poor and the rich should have equal right to entertainment. The Minister exhorted the film industry to find ways to take cinema simultaneously to audience in rural and remote areas.
The Minister added that commemorating 75 years of Indian Independence, we have opened our platform for 75 young creative minds of India. 52nd IFFI will provide a platform to 75 immensely talented youngsters to showcase their talent at a world stage. The Directorate of Film Festivals is inviting entries from amateur filmmakers and cinema buffs around the country. 75 best entries in the competition will be invited as delegates to Asia’s oldest film festival, IFFI.
The award for best non-feature film for the year 2019 has been given to AN ENGINEERED DREAM (Hindi) produced and directed by Shri Hemant Gaba, while the award for best feature film has been accorded to Marakkar-Arabikkadalinte-Simham (Malayalam) directed by Shri Priyadarshan.
Tajmahal (Marathi) has been awarded Nargis Dutt Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration. Shri Dhanush and Shri Manoj Bajpayee have both been conferred Best Actor award while Ms Kangana Ranaut has been awarded Best Actress for her role in Manikarnika-The Queen of Jhansi (Hindi) and Panga (Hindi). The star studded award ceremony also witnessed recognition of power-packed performers like Shri Vijaya Sethupathi, Smt Pallavi Joshi, Shri B Praak among others.