The National Film Awards are a prestigious prize conferred by the Government of India to outstanding performances in Direction, Acting, Editing, Screenplay, Playback Singing and other aspects of movie making. The awards were first instituted in 1954.
The National Film Awards are grouped into three main categories: Feature Films, Non-Feature Films and Best Writing on Cinema. The first two categories are intended to encourage film making that is both aesthetically pleasing and technically superior.
It’s important to understand here that the Indian film industry is not just about Bollywood. The contributions of the Tamil, Kannada, Marathi, Telugu, Malayalam, Bengali and other regional film industries to Indian cinema is just as important. Though these awards the Government of India seeks to reward filmmakers for contributing to the cultural development of different regions of the country through cinema.
The National Film Awards are presented along with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award. The awards are divided into three categories…
Golden Lotus Award or the Swarna Kamal Award, which is given to 6 categories including the Best Feature Film, the Best Children’s Film, the Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment, the Best Director, the Best Animated Film and the Best First Film of a Director.
Silver Lotus Award or the Rajat Kamal Award is presented to the Best Audiography, the Best Choreography,the Best Male Actor, the Best Supporting Male Actor, the Best Female Actor, the Best Supporting Female Actor, the Best Music Direction, the Best Child Artist, the Best Male Playback Singer, the Best Lyrics, the Best Art Direction, Best Female Playback Singer, the Best Cinematography, the Best Make-up, the Best Costume Design, the Best Editing, the Best Screenplay and the Best Special Effects.
The Special Jury Award/Special Mention awards are given to the Best Film on Family Welfare, the Best Film on Environment Conservation, the Best Film on Other Social Issues and the Best Film on National Integration.
The awards are also given to the best feature film in all major languages including Hindi, Gujarati, Kannada, Assamese, Dogri, Bengali, Bodo, Kashmiri, Punjabi, Tamil, Manipuri, Marathi, Konkani, Malayalam, Oriya, Urdu and Telugu.
The winners are selected by a National Panel appointed by the Government of India. They are then conferred with the awards in a glittering ceremony by the President of India.