Venkaiah presents National Film Awards, confers Dadasaheb Phalke award on Rajinikanth
Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu presenting the 51st Dadasaheb Phalke Award to actor Rajinikanth, in New Delhi on October 25, 2021.

Venkaiah presents National Film Awards, confers Dadasaheb Phalke award on Rajinikanth

New Delhi, October 25, 2021

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu today called upon filmmakers to desist from depicting violence, gross vulgarity and obscenity in films.

Speaking at the 67th National Film Awards ceremony after presenting the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke award to popular actor Rajinikanth and National Awards to cinema artistes from across the country, the Vice President said a film should be a vehicle with a higher purpose—a carrier of social, moral and ethical messages.

“Moreover, films should refrain from highlighting the 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, he said cinema was the cheapest entertainment in the world and urged filmmakers and artistes 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, he said.

Naidu advised the cinema industry not to do anything that weakened the great culture, traditions, values and ethos of our grand civilization. Indian films carry an important message to audiences across the world. They should portray a snapshot of 'Indianness' or 'Bharatheeyatha' to the outside world and need to be effective ambassadors in the world of cultural diplomacy, he added.

Referring to India’s soft power as the largest producer of films in the world, he said, ”Our films are watched and appreciated across the world—in Japan and Egypt, China, the United States, Russia, the Middle East and Australia and a host of other countries.

“Films are among our foremost cultural exports and serve as a key link in connecting the global Indian community to the rhythms of life back home,” he added.

Observing that cinema has no geographical or religious boundaries and speaks a universal language, he said the National Awards not only highlight the talent pool in the Indian film industry but also reflect its richness and diversity.

“The Indian film industry has made its mark in a variety of languages, ranging from Bhojpuri to Tamil, Odia to Assamese, to several others. And yet, as all of us know, cinema is a language in itself and has no geographical or religious boundaries. It speaks a universal language and touches raw human emotions,” he said.

“The Best Feature Film this year, Marakkar, portrays the courageous life events of a rebellious naval chief, Mohammad Ali Marakkar, also known as Kunjali Marakkar IV. The historical action-packed film revolves around this heroic figure who is believed to be the first Indian Naval Commander and was also a freedom fighter in the war against the Portuguese.

“I am happy to see regional films with meaningful thematic content, getting due recognition. The Haryanvi film Chhoriyan Chhoron Se Kam Nahi Hotin deals with the issue of curtailing freedom in the lives of women and is centred around a girl's struggle to study and become an IPS officer. In Anandi Gopal, we celebrate one of the first Indian female doctors of Western medicine. Nila Madhab Panda's Odia film Kalira Atita deals with the issue of the rising sea levels due to global warming, a subject of burning importance with universal relevance,” he added.

“Telugu cinema has been a major contributor to the development of Indian Cinema. Over more than a hundred years, the Telugu film industry has given us many hits from Peddamanushulu, the first Telugu movie to win National Film Award under Best Telugu Film Category to the 2017 Indian war film Ghazi. The recent Best Telugu Film, Jersey, deals with late bloomers who seek to shine in sports but face several hurdles. Cinema serves as a powerful medium for the promotion of sports and the film, I am sure, will serve as a source of inspiration to a whole generation of aspiring young sportsmen,” he said.

Pointing to the reality of climate change, the Vice President stressed the need for the film fraternity to highlight the importance of protecting nature. “The COVID-19 pandemic too taught us the importance of respecting nature,” he added.

”Documentaries constitute a key arm of the industry since they deal with critical subjects of relevance. I am pleased to note that the government has played an important role in strengthening the documentary movement in the country.

“We are living in exciting and transformational times for Cinema and the wider entertainment economy. Technology has changed the way films are made as well as the way they are consumed. With the advent of low-cost data and smartphones, tablets and the addition of OTT platforms, there is a clear shift in viewership patterns. The Indian film industry is adapting to these changes and I am sure it will continue to devise strategies to convert challenges into opportunities.

“Over the years, cinema has become an integral part of our cultural consciousness. I am positive that the focus of the Indian film industry would shift gradually towards an emphasis on content-driven films where the story is the hero. The staggering number of films made in different languages in our country every year is a testimony not only to the popularity of films but also to the fact that the film industry provides livelihood to thousands of families across the country,” he added.

Congratulating Rajnikanth for winning this year’s DadasahebPhalke Award, he said the thespian’s unmatchable style and acting skills have indeed given a new dimension to the Indian film industry. Mentioning his memorable performances in Moondru Mudichu, Sivaji: The Boss, Vayathinile and Bairavi, he said the ‘Thalaivar’ epitomizes the perfect balance between artistic expression and mass appeal, something all young film-makers could do well to attempt.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur, Minister of State S Murugan, I&B Secretary Apurva Chandra, Features Films Jury President N Chandra, Non-Feature Films Jury President Arun Chadha were present at the ceremony.

Tamil megastar Rajinikanth, 70, fondly called as Thalaiva by his fans, was chosen for the 51st Dadasaheb Phalke Award, the top honour in Indian cinema, for his contribution to the film industry.

The award was instituted by the Government to commemorate the contribution to the industry by Dadasaheb Phalke, generally regarded as the father of Indian cinema and the maker of India's first full-length feature film, Raja Harishchandra in 1913.

The award was first presented in 1969, with the first recipient being actress Devika Rani. Previous winners of the award include Dilip Kumar, Shashi Kapoor, Gulzar, Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Soumitra Chatterjee, Satyajit Ray, Mrinal Sen, Manoj Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan, Kasinadhuni Viswanath and Vinod Khanna.

While Malayalam film Marakkar -- Arabikkadalinte Simham, directed by Priyadarshan and starring, among others, superstar Mohanlal, won the Best Feature Film award, Manoj Bajpayee (for Bhonsle in Hindi) and Dhanush (for Asuran in Tamil) shared the Best Actor award and Kangana Ranaut got the Best Actress award for her performances in Manikarnika -- The Queen of Jhansi and Panga, both in Hindi.

This is the fourth National Film Award for Ranaut. She had previously won the Best Supporting Actress award for Fashion in 2008 and the Best Actress award for two years in succession in 2014 and 2015 for Queen and Tanu Weds Manu Returns, respectively.

Bajpayee received the National Film Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in the 1998 crime drama Satya. He also won the Special Jury Award for Pinjar (2003).

Dhanush earlier won the Best Actor award for Aadukalam (2010).

Sanjay Puran Singh Chauhan won the Best Direction award for Hindi film Bahattar Hoorain.

The Indira Gandhi Award for the Best Debut Film of a Director went to Helen in Malayalam, diected by Mathukutty Xavier.

Telugu film Maharshi, directed by Paidipally Vamshidhar Rao won the award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment.

Tajmal, Niyas Mujawar's Marathi film, got the Nargis Dutt Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration, while Anandi Gopal in Marathi got the award for Best Film on Social Issues.

The Best Children's Film award went to Kastoori in Hindi, directed by Vinod Kamble.

Tamil star Vijay Sethupathi has been selected for the Best Supporting Actor award for Super Deluxe (Tamil), while Pallavi Joshi has got the Best Supporting Actress award for The Tashkent Files (Hindi).

Naga Vishal has got the Best Child Artiste award for KD (A) Karuppu Durai in Tamil.

B Praak was chosen Best Male Playback Singer for "Teri Mitti" from Hindi film Kesari, while Savani Ravindra won the award for Best Female Playback Singer for the song Raan Petala in Marathi film Bardo.

Cameraman Gireesh Gangadharan won the Best Cinematography award for Malayalam movie Jallikkettu.

D Imman won the award for Best Music Direction (Songs) for Viswasam (Tamil) while Prabhuddha Banerjee won it for background music in Bengali film Jyeshthoputro.

Prabha Varma won the award for Best Lyrics for the song "Arodum Parayuka Vayya" from the Malayalam movie Kolaambi.

The awards for Best Feature Film in various languages went to, among others, Chhichhore, starring Sushant Singh Rajput and directed by Nitesh Tiwari, in Hindi; Gumnaami in Bengali; Akkshi in Kannada; Bardo in Marathi; Kalla Nottam in Malayalam; Asuram in Tamil and Jersey in Telugu.

An Engineered Dream in Hindi has bagged the award for Best Non-Feature Film.

Shrikshetra -- Ru-Sahijata has won the award for Best Arts and Culture Film.

Sikkim has bagged the award for being the Most Film Friendly State.

NNN

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