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The Stars Shine Bright at National Film Awards

“A film should be a vehicle with a higher purpose—a carrier of the social, moral and ethical message,” the Vice President of India, Shri M Venkaiah Naidu.

National Film Awards for 2019 were conferred by the Vice President of India, Shri M Venkaiah Naidu in various categories at its 67th edition and the prestigious Dada Saheb Phalke Award. The awards were given in 2021 for the year 2019 (as against the scheduled program in May 2020), owing to the COVID-19 pandemic and in 2020 not many films were released. The National Film Awards were established in 1954, when the awards were given for the films of the year 1953. The awards were initially called ‘State Awards’ and two President’s Gold Medals, two certificates of merit, and 12 silver medals for regional films were presented in the earlier years. The First National Film Awards (State Awards) were held over two days, during which exhibitions were held and two documentaries were premiered, along with the presentation of awards. Since the 57th National Film Awards, the awards in the feature film section are decided through a two-tier selection process, comprising five regional panels and a central jury. The juries are distinguished persons in the field of cinema, other allied arts and humanities.

The National Film Awards are given in three sections: Feature Films, Non-Feature Films, and Best Writing in Cinema. The Most Film Friendly State award is also given, along with the National Film Awards, to a state of India that has been helpful in furthering the growth of the film industry by creating an environment for ease of filming in the state, encouraging skill/ talent development among other proactive initiatives. The award for the best non-feature film for 2019 has been given to AN ENGINEERED DREAM (Hindi) produced and directed by Shri Hemant Gaba, while the recognition 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 been conferred the 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 the recognition of power[1]packed performers like Shri Vijaya Sethupathi, Smt Pallavi Joshi, Shri B Praak, among others.

Sikkim has bagged the award for being Most Film Friendly State. Savani Ravindra has won Best Female Playback Singer for her song RaanPetala from the Marathi movie Bardo. Gireesh Gangadharan has been awarded Best Cinematography for the Malayalam film Jallikkettu. The award for the Best Book on Cinema has been given to Sanjay Suri’s ‘A Gandhian Affair: India’s Curious Portrayal of Love in Cinema’. The award for Best Film Critic
has been given to Sohini Chattopadhyay. A jury made the selection that comprised eminent filmmakers and film personalities from across the Indian
cine-world. The awards were announced by Shri N. Chandra, Chairman, Central Panel, Shri Arun Chaddha, Chairman, Non-Feature Films Jury, Shri Shaji N Karun, Chairman, Most Film Friendly State Jury and Shri Saibal Chatterjee, Chairman Best Writing on Cinema Jury. The Jury presented selections for the Awards to the Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Shri Prakash Javadekar. 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. The Vice President said a film should be a vehicle with a higher purpose—a carrier of the social, moral and ethical message. “Moreover, films should refrain from highlighting the violence an should voice society’s disapproval of social evils,’ he added. He was speaking after presenting the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke award to popular actor Shri
Rajnikanth (The Dada Saheb Phalke award has been conferred to 50 Film personalities since its inception. Rajnikant is the 51st recipient.) and national awards to actors of cinemas of various languages. Instituted in 1969, the Dadasaheb Phalke Award was introduced by the Government of India to commemorate Dadasaheb Phalke’s contribution to Indian cinema. Honoured with the highest award in the field of cinema, the recipients are recognized for their ‘outstanding contribution to the growth and development of Indian cinema’. Dadasaheb Phalke award is also given, in the memory of the success of Raja Harishchandra by Dadasaheb Phalke (1913). It gave way to a new line of eager filmmakers and artists in the Indian film industry. Among the early pioneers were J.F. Madan of Elphinstone Bioscope Company, Calcutta, later known as Madan Theatres Ltd., and Himanshu Rai, Co-Director of the Light of Asia, who later became famous as the founder of Bombay Talkies. 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 occasion, Shri Anurag Thakur said that entertainment should be equally accessible to all sections of society. The Minister urged the film industry to find ways to take cinema simultaneously to the 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 plat[1]form to 75 immensely
talented youngsters to showcase their talent on a world stage. The Directorate of Film Festivals is inviting entries from ama[1]teur filmmakers and
cinema buffs around the country. Seventy-five best entries in the competition will be delegates to Asia’s oldest film festival, IFFI. The National Film Awards are the most prestigious film awards in India. The awards are intended to encourage the production of films that are both artistically and technically excellent, as well as socially relevant, and that contribute to the understanding and appreciation of cultures from various parts of the country through cinematic representation, thereby promoting national unity and integrity. The awards have been administered by the Directorate of Film Festivals since 1973.

India represents 17% of the global population, its historical cumulative emissions are only 4%, while current annual GHG emissions are only about 5%. India is always committed to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Framework and its Paris Agreement and played a critical role COP26 and assured the world, that India will work constructively for successful and balanced outcome of the decisions taken at the summit. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “In the midst of this global brainstorming on climate change, on behalf of India, I would like to present five nectar elements, Panchamrit, to deal with this challenge. First- India will reach its non-fossil energy capacity to 500 GW by 2030. Second- India will meet 50 percent of its energy require[1]ments from renewable energy by 2030. Third- India will reduce the total projected carbon emissions by one billion tonnes from now onwards till 2030. Fourth- By 2030, India will reduce the carbon intensity of its economy by less than 45 percent. And fifth- by the year 2070, India will achieve the target of Net Zero. These panchamrits will be an unprecedented contribution of India to climate action.” He urged the world leader for transfer of climate finance and low-cost climate technologies. India expects developed countries to provide climate finance of $1 trillion at the earliest. He said, it is important that it is necessary that as we track the progress made in climate mitigation, we should also track climate finance.

The proper justice would be that the countries which do not live up to their promises made on climate finance, must be pressured too. “I
consider it as my duty to raise the voice of developing countries,” Modi stated. India is of the view, that all Parties need to immediately contribute their fair share and achieving this would require developed countries to rapidly reduce their emissions and dramatically scale-up their financial support to developing countries. The issues were reiterated by Environment Minister Bhupendra Yadav. He pointed that developed countries have not only failed to meet the $100 billion goal per year of support to developing countries each and every year since 2009, but they also continue to present the 2009 goal as the ceiling of their ambition all the way to 2025. In a context where developing countries, including BASIC (Brazil, South Africa, India and China) countries, have massively stepped up their climate actions since 2009, it is unacceptable that there is still no matching ambition from developed countries on the enabling means of implementation on climate finance support. To reinforce India’s commitments’, a web portal on electric vehicles (EVs), was launched at the COP26 Summit in Glasgow, UK. E-Amrit is a one-stop destination for all information on electric
vehicles—busting myths around the adoption of EVs, their purchase, investment opportunities, policies, subsidies, etc. The portal has been developed and hosted by NITI Aayog under a collaborative knowledge exchange programme with the UK government and as part of the UK–India Joint Roadmap 2030, signed by the Prime Ministers of the two countries. E-Amrit intends to complement initiatives or the government on raising awareness on EVs and sensitizing consumers on the benefits of switching to electric vehicles. In the recent past, India has taken many initiatives to accelerate the decarbonization of transport and adoption of electric mobility in the country. Schemes such as FAME and PLI are especially important in creating an ecosystem for the early adoption of EVs.



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