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Reflect on constructive and meaningful engagement through cinema: Naidu

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NEW DELHI: President Pranab Mukherjee has said that the creation of the Film Promotion Fund would help promote and motivate talented independent filmmakers to promote their work across the globe in various International Film Festivals.

Mukherjee described the film industry as a microcosm of India which celebrated the diversity of languages, customs, religions and culture.

Indian Cinema and its diversity convey underlying spirit of brotherhood, tolerance, acceptance and co-existence, he said, adding that the inherent strength of the unity in spite of diversity was the cultural heritage inherited through the ages.

The President was speaking after giving away the 64th National Film Awards for 2016. Information & Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu and MoS Rajyavardhan Rathore were also present on the occasion.

The National Film Awards were presented on 3 May as it is the day on which the first-ever indigenous feature ‘Raja Harishchandra’ by D G Phalke was released in 1913.

The President also conferred this year’s Dada Saheb Phalke award to K Viswanath, renowned film director and actor, for his outstanding contribution to the growth and development of Indian cinema. A presenter of classical and traditional art, music and dance, K Viswanath has been a guiding force in the Indian film industry.

Naidu said care and caution should be taken while depicting stories of tragedy and all stakeholders should reflect on the creative, constructive and meaningful engagement through the medium of cinema.

Indian cinema had remarkably showcased the vast richness of the country’s cultural diversity, beautiful landscapes and languages and had been a great unifying force in promoting national integration, he said.

While complementing the film industry, he said filmmakers had set their mind on delivering excellence and promoting societal values. The film industry should join hands to facilitate mission the making of developed India as it had strong influence on society and its values.

He said movies that had won awards focus on a variety of issues and themes ranging from discrimination, love, historical relationships and relevant social challenges. He added that the National Film Awards showcase the capacity to set standards and to recognize the efforts of Indian filmmakers and artists who achieve heights.

Speaking about the Films as a medium of communication, Naidu said it was the most beautiful form of expression that encompassed a multitude of visual arts such as music, dance and drama. It was also a medium through which contemporary socio- economic, political and cultural issues of individuals and society are showcased. The language of cinema is a universal one. It has been a powerful tool to reach out to people transcending the boundaries in society.

The Feature Film Central panel was headed by eminent filmmaker Priyadarshan, popularly known for his Malayalam movie Kanchivaram among others. The Chairperson for the Non–Feature Film Jury was Raju Mishra while the Chairperson for Writing on Cinema Jury was Ms. Bhawana Somaaya. The Most Film Friendly State award jury was chaired by Telugu director Radha Krishna Jagarlamudi.

In feature films, the highest number of awards went to Hindi (11) followed by Marathi (9); Malayalam (7); Tamil (5); Telugu, Bengali and Kannada (4 each); Assamese (3), and one each to Gujarati, Konkani and Manipuri. One award each also went to two languages not in Schedule VIII of the Constitution: Moran and Tulu.

While the Marathi film ‘Kasaav’ by Sumitra Bhave & Sunil Sukthankar got the best feature film award, and actor Akshay Kumar for ‘the Hindi film ‘Rustom’ and Surabhi C M for the Malayalam film ‘Minnaminungu–the Firefly’ won the top awards for acting.

Rajesh Mapuskar for the Marathi film ‘Ventilator’ has been named best director in the Awards for 2016. The state of Uttar Pradesh has been named as the Most Film Friendly state and Jharkhand gets a special mention in this category which was announced for the first time last year.

‘Fireflies in the Abyss’ by Chandrashekhar Roy got the best non-feature film award, while G. Dhananjayan was named best film critic and ‘Lata: Sur Gatha’ by Yatindra Mishra was given best book on cinema award.

The full list of awards can be seen at http://www.dff.nic.in/writereaddata/NFA64PressNote2016.pdf

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