National Film Award for Best Feature Film

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National Film Award for Best Feature Film
National award for contributions to Indian Cinema
Awarded for Best Feature Film of the year
Sponsored by Directorate of Film Festivals
Formerly called President's Gold Medal for Best Feature Film
Reward(s)
  • Swarna Kamal (Golden Lotus)
  • 2,50,000/-
First awarded 1953
Last awarded 2017
Most recent winner Village Rockstars
Highlights
Total awarded 65
First winner Shyamchi Aai

The National Award for Best Feature Film is one of the categories in the National Film Awards presented annually by the Directorate of Film Festivals, the organisation set up by Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in India. It is one of several awards presented for feature films and awarded with the Golden Lotus (Swarna Kamal). The award is announced for films produced in a year across the country, in all Indian languages. As of 2017, the award comprises a Swarna Kamal, a certificate, and a cash prize of 2,50,000 and is presented to the producer and the director of the film.

The National Film Awards were established in 1954 to "encourage production of the films of a high aesthetic and technical standard and educational and culture value" and also planned to included awards for regional films.[1] The awards were instituted as "State Awards for Films" but were renamed to "National Film Awards" at the 15th National Film Awards in 1967.[2] As of 2017, the award is one of six Swarna Kamal awards presented for the feature films. The award winning film is included at the annual International Film Festival of India. Only the films made in any Indian language and silent films which are either shot on 35 mm, in a wider gauge, or digital format but released on a film or Video/Digital format and certified by the Central Board of Film Certification as a feature film or featurette are made eligible for the award.[3]

The inaugural award was named as "President's Gold Medal for the All India Best Feature Film" and was awarded to Marathi film, Shyamchi Aai (Shyam's Mother), produced and directed by Pralhad Keshav Atre and is based on Pandurang Sadashiv Sane's Marathi novel of the same name.[1] As of 2016, sixty-four feature films have been awarded which are made in twelve different languages: Bengali (twenty-two), Hindi (fifteen), Malayalam (eleven), Kannada (six), Marathi (five), Assamese, English, Sanskrit, and Tamil (two each), Beary, Gujarati, and Telugu (one each). At the 26th National Film Awards (1978), no feature film was awarded with the Best Feature film award as the jury headed by filmmaker Chetan Anand scrutinised eighty films but did not consider any film to be "worthy of merit" and "measured up to the standard of excellence set forth by the jury".[4] At the 59th National Film Awards, two feature films shared the award; Marathi film Deool (Temple) and Beary film Byari.[5] Most recently, the award is presented to Assamese film Village Rockstars, produced and directed by Rima Das.

Satyajit Ray is the most honoured director where six of his films—Pather Panchali (1955), Apur Sansar (1959), Charulata (1964), Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne (1968), Seemabaddha (1971), and Agantuk (1991)—won the award, followed Buddhadeb Dasgupta (five), Girish Kasaravalli and Mrinal Sen (four each), Shaji N. Karun (three), and Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Tapan Sinha, and G. V. Iyer (two each). As of 2016, the award was presented to the films of ten debutant directors; Satyajit Ray (Pather Panchali, 1955),[6] Adoor Gopalakrishnan (Swayamvaram, 1972),[7] M. T. Vasudevan Nair (Nirmalyam, 1973),[8] Girish Kasaravalli (Ghatashraddha, 1977),[9] Shaji N. Karun (Piravi, 1988),[10] Sandeep Sawant (Shwaas, 2003),[11] Salim Ahamed (Adaminte Makan Abu, 2010),[12] Suveeran (Byari, 2011),[13] Anand Gandhi (Ship of Theseus, 2013),[14] Chaitanya Tamhane (Court, 2015), and Rima Das (Village Rockstars, 2017).[15] Four films awarded with the Best Feature film award were also the Indian submission for the Academy Award for the Best Foreign Language Film; Apur Sansar (1959), Shwaas (2004), Adaminte Makan Abu (2011), and Court (2015).[16] Adi Shankaracharya (1983), the first film made in Sanskrit language,[17] and Byari (2011), the first film made in Beary language,[13] won the award at the 31st National Film Awards and 59th National Film Awards, respectively.

Awards[edit]

Since its inception in 1953, the producer of the film is awarded with the Gold medal and a certificate.[1] A cash prize of 20,000 was introduced at the 5th National Film Awards (1957) and was revised to 40,000 at the 18th National Film Awards (1970),[18] to 50,000 at the 28th National Film Awards (1980),[19] to 2,50,000 at the 54th National Film Awards (2006).[20][21]

From 1953 till 1956,[1][22] the director of the film was awarded with the Gold medal which was later changed in 1957 to a cash prize of 5,000.[20] From 1967 till 1973,[2][23] a plaque was also awarded to the director and cash prize was revised to 10,000 in 1970.[18] At the 22nd National Film Awards (1974),[24] the award for the director was changed to Rajat Kamal (Silver Lotus) and a cash prize of 15,000 which was later revised to 20,000 at the 25th National Film Awards (1977).[25] Since 28th National Film Awards (1980),[19] the director is awarded with the Swarna Kamal and a cash prize of 25,000 which was later revised to 50,000 at the 28th National Film Awards (1980),[19] to 2,50,000 at the 54th National Film Awards (2006).[21]

In 1973 and 1974, the lead actor and actress of the film were also awarded. P. J. Antony and Sumithra received a souvenir for Malayalam film Nirmalyam at the 21st National Film Awards (1973).[23] Antony was also awarded the Best Actor, then known as the "Bharat Award for the Best Actor". Utpal Dutt and Gita Sen were awarded with a medallion for Bengali Film Chorus at 22nd National Film Awards (1974).[24]

Winners[edit]

Films in the following languages have won the Best Feature Film award:

Indicates a joint award for that year
List of films, showing the year (award ceremony), language(s), producer(s), director(s) and citation
Year Film(s) Language(s) Producer(s) Director(s) Citation Refs.
1953
(1st)
Shyamchi Aai Marathi Pralhad Keshav Atre Pralhad Keshav Atre  – [1]
1954
(2nd)
Mirza Ghalib Hindi Sohrab Modi Sohrab Modi  – [26]
1955
(3rd)
Pather Panchali Bengali Government of West Bengal Satyajit Ray  – [27]
1956
(4th)
Kabuliwala Bengali Charuchitra Tapan Sinha  – [22]
1957
(5th)
Do Aankhen Barah Haath Hindi V. Shantaram V. Shantaram  – [20]
1958
(6th)
Sagar Sangamey Bengali De Luxe Film Distributors Debaki Bose  – [28]
1959
(7th)
Apur Sansar Bengali Satyajit Ray Productions Satyajit Ray  – [29]
1960
(8th)
Anuradha Hindi  • Hrishikesh Mukherjee
 • L. B. Thakur
Hrishikesh Mukherjee  – [30]
1961
(9th)
Bhagini Nivedita Bengali Aurora Film Corporation Bijoy Bose  – [31]
1962
(10th)
Dada Thakur Bengali Shyamlal Jalan Sudhir Mukherjee  – [32]
1963
(11th)
Shehar Aur Sapna Hindi Naya Sansar Khwaja Ahmad Abbas  – [33]
1964
(12th)
Charulata Bengali R. D. Bansal Satyajit Ray  – [34]
1965
(13th)
Chemmeen Malayalam Babu Ismail Settu Ramu Kariat  – [35]
1966
(14th)
Teesri Kasam Hindi Shailendra Basu Bhattacharya  – [36]
1967
(15th)
Hatey Bazarey Bengali Asim Dutta Tapan Sinha  – [2]
1968
(16th)
Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne Bengali  • Nepal Dutta
 • Asim Dutta
Satyajit Ray  – [37]
1969
(17th)
Bhuvan Shome Hindi Mrinal Sen Productions Mrinal Sen  – [38]
1970
(18th)
Samskara Kannada Pattabhirama Reddy Pattabhirama Reddy  – [18]
1971
(19th)
Seemabaddha Bengali  • Bharat Shamsher
 • Jang Bahadur Rana
Satyajit Ray  – [39]
1972
(20th)
Swayamvaram Malayalam Adoor Gopalakrishnan Adoor Gopalakrishnan  – [40]
1973
(21st)
Nirmalyam[a] Malayalam M. T. Vasudevan Nair M. T. Vasudevan Nair  – [23]
1974
(22nd)
Chorus[b] Bengali Mrinal Sen Productions Mrinal Sen  – [24]
1975
(23rd)
Chomana Dudi Kannada Praja Films B. V. Karanth  – [41]
1976
(24th)
Mrigayaa Hindi Uday Bhaskar International Mrinal Sen  – [42]
1977
(25th)
Ghatashraddha Kannada Sadanand Suvarna Girish Kasaravalli
For lifting the creative cinema of that region to new levels of artistic excellence, for delicacy of treatment and subtle use of the film medium, for the shifting perspective through which the tragic solution is revealed, for projecting the painful, tremulous transition from innocence to experience, for searing intellectual honesty, for the fusion of all the elements into a form so distinctive as to declare it a masterpiece.
[25]
1978
(26th)
No Award [4]
1979
(27th)
Shodh Hindi Sitakant Misra Biplab Roy Choudhary  – [43]
1980
(28th)
Akaler Shandhaney Bengali D. K. Films Mrinal Sen
For brilliantly recreating the tragedy of the 1943 Bengal famine and focussing on the disturbing continuity of the conditions which created it, for the cinematic excellence of the film which explores human experience at the different levels and for the consummate artistry with which the complexity of the social-economic situation is fused into a poignant statement.
[19]
1981
(29th)
Dakhal Bengali West Bengal Film Industry Gautam Ghose
For the visual eloquence with which it portrays the travails of a daughter of a soil courageously fighting for a social justice in the face of all odds and for the remarkable ability of its young director who writes the screenplay, handles the camera, scores the music and directs the film in a poetic manner.
[44]
1982
(30th)
Chokh Bengali  • Department of Information, Cultural Affairs India
 • Government of West Bengal
Utpalendu Chakrabarty
For its courage in exposing an aspect of contemporary reality which has great social relevance and for doing so with passion and integrity.
[45]
1983
(31st)
Adi Shankaracharya Sanskrit NFDC G. V. Iyer
For its dedication, depth and power and the impressive skill with which it captures the Indian philosophical tradition.
[46]
1984
(32nd)
Damul Hindi Prakash Jha Productions Prakash Jha  – [47]
1985
(33rd)
Chidambaram Malayalam G. Aravindan G. Aravindan
For providing rare cinematic experience while delineating the inner conflicts and suffering of an individual set against the backdrop of the elements.
[48]
1986
(34th)
Tabarana Kathe Kannada Girish Kasaravalli Girish Kasaravalli
For an extremely sensitive probe into the anguish of a helpless individual caught in a bureaucratic web, depicted with great feeling and expertise as he waits for his pension, which arrives too late.
[49]
1987
(35th)
Halodhia Choraye Baodhan Khai Assamese  • Sailadhar Baruah
 • Jahnu Barua
Jahnu Barua
For its mastery of cinematic form and the totality of its film craft and for its authentic depiction of the Indian rural problem and for the life affirmating human dignity it portrays in the face of the most trying social circumstances.
[50]
1988
(36th)
Piravi Malayalam Film Folks Shaji N. Karun
For creattive evocation of human pathos with refined cinematic sensitivity.
[51]
1989
(37th)
Bagh Bahadur Bengali Buddhadeb Dasgupta Buddhadeb Dasgupta
For its portrayal of the steady destruction of rural folk traditions at the hands of a cheap and showy urban culture in the form a cinematically vibrant and heroic classical tragedy.
[52]
1990
(38th)
Marupakkam Tamil NFDC K. S. Sethumadhavan
For striking a balance between the existing traditional values and the modern values that are infused subsequently, and for treating the subject with the highest standards or aesthetic excellence.
[53]
1991
(39th)
Agantuk Bengali NFDC Satyajit Ray
For its masterly treatment of an unusual subject investing it with humour, suspense and drama accomplishing remarkable insight into human behavior.
[54]
1992
(40th)
Bhagwat Gita Sanskrit T. Subbarami Reddy G. V. Iyer
For successfully translating immortal philosophy of the Bhagavad Gita into a cinematic idiom.
[55]
1993
(41st)
Charachar Bengali  • Gita Gope
 • Shankar Gope
Buddhadeb Dasgupta
For its poetic and typical representation of the eternal human longing for liberation and man's alienation from Nature.
[56]
1994
(42nd)
Unishe April Bengali Rituparno Ghosh Rituparno Ghosh
For a complex and impeccable rendition of fragmenting family relationships in urban India. The bond between a mother and daughter is extended to a defined space and time, and a drama immaculately constructed.
[57]
1995
(43rd)
Kathapurushan Malayalam Adoor Gopalakrishnan Adoor Gopalakrishnan
For the remarkable portrayal of the individual born on the eve of Independence. The film gives an insight into the socio-political evolution of the post-independent India through the individual with outstanding cinematic qualities and universal appeal.
[58]
1996
(44th)
Lal Darja Bengali  • Chitrani Lahiri
 • Dulal Roy
Buddhadeb Dasgupta
For its poetic presentation and exploration of complexities of human relationship in a contemporary urban milieu.
[59]
1997
(45th)
Thaayi Saheba Kannada Jayamala Girish Kasaravalli
For its challenging portrayal of one woman who carries the burden of traditional constraints and restrictions of society and learns to overcome them with courage, dignity, sacrifice. In the process, she speaks for the emancipation of women.
[60]
1998
(46th)
Samar Hindi  • Shyam Benegal
 • Sahyadri Films
 • NFDC
Shyam Benegal
For the innovative and human manner in which the director structures and presents a continuing social evil.
[61]
1999
(47th)
Vanaprastham Malayalam Pranavam Arts Shaji N. Karun
For its multi layered treatment of issues like caste system, patronage to the arts, Guru Shishya Parampara, and the identity crisis of a performing artiste.
[62]
2000
(48th)
Shantham Malayalam P. V. Gangadharan Jayaraj
For addressing the very contemporary issue of political rivalry and violence in our society in an unusually imaginative way. The language of the film goes beyond conventional narrative for appeal to calmness and good sense.
[63]
2001
(49th)
Dweepa Kannada Soundarya Girish Kasaravalli
For the film combines integrity, creativity and aesthetics in its depiction of both the dilemmas and the spirit of a family who defy logic and weather to hold on to their roots.
[64]
2002
(50th)
Mondo Meyer Upakhyan Bengali Arya Bhattacharya Buddhadeb Dasgupta
For its poetic exploration of human and social realities concerning people on the fringes of society.
[65]
2003
(51st)
Shwaas Marathi Arun Nalawade Sandeep Sawant
For its sensitive and moving portrayal of the relationship between a grandfather and his grandson when the child is about to lose his vision.
[66]
2004
(52nd)
Page 3 Hindi Bobby Pushkarna Madhur Bhandarkar
For a complex and daring attempt which exposes the shallow world of Page 3 in a manner which is both savagely satirical yet gently ironical.
[67]
2005
(53rd)
Kaalpurush Bengali Jhamu Sughand Buddhadeb Dasgupta
For a rare lyrical style and a unique cohesion of narrative structure and characters that allow it to flow on different planes.
[68]
2006
(54th)
Pulijanmam Malayalam M. G. Vijay Priyanandanan
For a layered film that uses metaphors to address global and local issues of contemporary society.
[21]
2007
(55th)
Kanchivaram Tamil Percept Picture Company Priyadarshan
For presenting a rare portrayal of Kanchi's silk weaver community, and the internal struggle of a weaver caught between his ideals and personal dreams. A vibrant story and technical excellence blend to create a total cinematic experience.
[69]
2008
(56th)
Antaheen Bengali Screenplay Films Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury
For lyrical blend of technical devices in the right proportion to depict shifting human relationships in an urban scenario.
[70]
2009
(57th)
Kutty Srank Malayalam Reliance Big Pictures Shaji N. Karun
For its vision and cinematic craft that express the different perspectives of three women about the truth of the man in their lives.
[71]
2010
(58th)
Adaminte Makan Abu Malayalam  • Salim Ahamed
 • Ashraf Bedi
Salim Ahamed
For a simple yet evocative articulation of humanist values that frees matters of faith from the constrictions of narrow parochialism. The concerns of Abu, son of Adam, are timeless and universal in their scope.
[72]
2011
(59th)
Deool Marathi Abhijeet Gholap Umesh Vinayak Kulkarni
For its witty, satirical and penetrative account of the politics involved in the commercialization of religion in India. Through a wonderfully authentic depiction of village life, mentality and gesture, Deool has a social, religious and commercial sweep, even as it individualizes each of its characters and endows them with a language and space of their own. The film ironically shows the wholehearted acceptance of commodified and clamorous religiosity in a land plagued by all the serious problems the country faces today, and it does so with laughter that is only slightly tinged with cynicism.
[5]
Byari Beary Altaaf Hussain Suveeran
For a powerful engagement with religious personal law handled with sensitivity and urgency. Through its female protagonist, writer director Suveeran, poignantly and dramatically conveys the trauma of a woman who has to deal with unjust religious strictures. The film calls for a review of the practices that continue to control the lives of many women in this country.
2012
(60th)
Paan Singh Tomar Hindi UTV Software Communications Tigmanshu Dhulia
Powerful presentation of a true life story which highlights the urgent need of a social support system for sportspersons especially in rural India. Sleek and sensitive handling of a not- too-common subject with remarkable aplomb. The movie leaves the viewer with a realization of the decadent value system prevalent in the society. Yet there is a beacon of hope!
[73]
2013
(61st)
Ship of Theseus  • English
 • Hindi
Recyclewala Films Pvt. Ltd. Anand Gandhi
A quietly powerful film of an unusual photographer, an erudite Jain monk and a young stock broker told through different segments which finally unites them through a strange circumstance. In the process the film depicts issues of intuitive brilliance, metaphysical belief and intricate morality in a world full of contradictions.
[74]
2013
(61st)
Haare Hamaari Thop Ka Cola 8 Log 2012 Hindi T-Series, Percept Picture Company, Satish Kaushik Productions Satish Kaushik
A quietly powerful film of an unusual photographer, an erudite Jain monk and a young stock broker told through different segments which finally unites them through a strange state. In the process the film depicts issues of intuitive brilliance, metaphysical belief and intricate transport in a world full of contradictions.
[74]
2014
(62nd)
Court Marathi Zoo Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. Chaitanya Tamhane
Court is a powerful and stark depiction of the mundaneness of judicial procedure revealed brilliantly by the film’s form, forcing us to reflect on the heartwrenching insensitivity of institutional structures.
[75]
2015
(63rd)
Baahubali: The Beginning Telugu  • Shobu Yarlagadda
 • Arka Media Works (P) LTD.
S. S. Rajamouli
An imaginative film and monumental by its production values and cinematic brilliance in creating a fantasy world on screen.
[76]
2016
(64th)
Kaasav Marathi  • Sumitra Bhave
 • Sunil Sukthankar
 • Mohan Agashe
 • Sumitra Bhave
 • Sunil Sukthankar
In appreciation of the perfect blending of an environmental behaviour and a personal one in a poignantly beautiful cinematic way.
[77]
2017
(65th)
Village Rockstars Assamese Rima Das Rima Das  –

Explanatory notes[edit]

  1. ^ P. J. Antony (Leading Actor) and Sumithra (Leading Actress) were awarded with Medallion.
  2. ^ Utpal Dutt (Leading Actor) and Gita Sen (Leading Actress) were awarded with Medallion.

References[edit]

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  3. ^ "Call for entries; 64th National Film Awards for 2016" (PDF). Directorate of Film Festivals. p. 6, 13. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 February 2017. Retrieved 11 May 2017.
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