Saturday, March 20, 2010


The President Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil conferred the 56th National Film Awards for 2008 to the illustrious winners in a glittering function held today at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi. The eminent cinematographer Sh. V.K.Murthy received standing ovation and thunderous applause when the President decorated him with the prestigious Dada Saheb Phalke Award for the year 2008. One hundred thirty awardees in sixty nine categories received their Swarn and Rajat Kamal medals along with the cash rewards at the hands of the President.

Congratulating the winners, the President Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil noted that every Indian is proud of the international acclaim, awards and the growing interest in Indian Cinema world over. Cinema needs to be continuously nurtured, as a part of our efforts to not only excel in filmmaking, but also to use it as a medium to give expression to the importance of a humane approach in life, she said. The President also said that the film industry needs to gear up to the challenges posed by demands for better cinematography and overall quality of films and influences coming from other media of entertainment such as television and the internet. Increased collaborations between the Indian film industry and Hollywood are a common topic of discussions in her visits abroad she noted. “ Our film industry can play a part in bringing a progressive and fast developing India, anchored in thousands of years of a rich civilization, to the minds of viewers”, the President emphasized.

Recalling Dada Saheb Phalke Awardee Shri V.K. Murthy’s contribution to the world of cinematography, the President noted that recognition accorded to Shri Murthy is extremely relevant at a time when elsewhere around the world, newer and superior techniques are being tried out to bring to the audience a better viewing experience. Taking note of Best Child Artiste Award to Master Shams Patel, Smt Pratibha Devisingh Patil hoped that this award would make everyone amore aware about the plight and problems of street children and inspire us to lend them a helping hand to ease their sufferings.

Speaking on the occasion of the 56th National Film Awards function, the Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Smt. Ambika Soni said that robust growth and development of the film industry in India is high on the agenda of the Government and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting is ready to facilitate this process in every possible way. Smt Soni pointed out that the National Awards manifest the multi cultural ethos recognizing and encouraging films, film makers and writers from across the country and honouring them at the national level. The Minister elaborated that recognising the sweeping changes that have come about in the film industry across all aspects of production, distribution, exhibition and marketing, with the advent of new ideas, new business models and new technologies, the Ministry had constituted an Expert Committee for the purpose. The Minister informed that the Committee has completed its deliberations and the forthcoming National Awards would be suitably upscaled. The Ministry also proposes to spearhead the participation and promotion of Indian cinema in key markets and festivals abroad in a much bigger way, Smt Soni informed.

Among notable winners who personally received the award from Hon’ble President included:

  • Director Haobam Paban Kumar for Best Non-feature film “AFSPA 1958;

  • Director Umesh Kulkarni for Best Direction for “Three of Us”;

  • Ganesh Anantharaman for Best Book on Cinema “Bollywood Melodies” (English);

  • Altaf Mazid and R.K.Bidur Singh under Best Film Critic category;

  • Director Anirudh Roy Choudhary for his Best Feature film “Antaheen” (Bengali);

  • Director Neeraj Pandey and Sh. Ronnie Screwwala of UTV Motion Pictures for the Indira Gandhi Award for Best First film - “A Wednesday” (Hindi);

  • Director Dibakar Banerjee for Best Popular Film providing wholesome entertainment - “Oye Lucky! Lucy Oye” (Hindi);

  • Director Abhaya Simha for Best Children’s Film - ‘Gubbachigalu” (Kannada); Director Jugal Hansraj for Best Animation Film - “Roadside Romeo” (Hindi);

  • Director Bala for “Naan Kadavul” (Tamil); Upendra Limaye for Best Actor in Marathi film ‘Jogva’;

  • Priyanka Chopra for Best Actress in “Fashion” (Hindi);

  • Arjun Rampal for Best Supporting Actor in “Rock On” (Hindi);

  • Farhan Akhtar as Producer for Best Hindi Film “Rock on”;

  • Kangana Ranaut for Best Supporting Actress in “Fashion” (Hindi);

  • Master Shams Patel for Best Child Artist in “Thanks Maa” (Hindi);

  • Hariharan for Best Male Playback Singer for “Jogva”;

Neeta Lulla for Best Costume Designer for “Jodhaa Akbar” and the all women team of Producers and Director for Best Film on Family values “Little Zizou”. Also present were Rahul Bose, Madhur Bhandakar, Rituparno Ghosh, Sonali Kulkarni, Neetu Chandra, Laxmikant Shetgaonkar, child artiste Abhilash Kashyap and Meena Debbarma among personalities from the cine world.

For the first time the National Film Award ceremony was hosted by film personalities Divya Dutta and Ashutosh Rana. The live rendition of Hariharan’s award winning song of Marathi film “Jogva’ - “Jeev Dangla Gungla Rangla” and Bonnie Chakravorty’s performance of the Best choreographed award winning song of “Jodhaa Akbar’” – ‘Azeem-o– shaan Shahenshah’ enthralled the audience.

Source: Press Information Bureau


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