I am not a huge fan of National Awards: R Balki

  • Prashant Singh, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Nov 04, 2015 19:56 IST
As 12 film-makers announce plans to return their National Awards, R Balki “applauds” their move; adds that he “respects the protest”.

Recently, Dibakar Banerjee and 11 other film-makers made news when they announced their decision to return their National Awards to offer support to the students of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), who have been protesting against the appointment of Gajendra Chauhan as the president of the institute.

Now, director R Balki says that he supports the stand taken by the students and the film-makers.

“In the first place, I am not a huge fan of the National Awards. A lot of times, they have been given to very strange films. But I respect the protest. I can’t return any award, because I have not got any,” says Balki, whose 2009 film, Paa, won four National Awards, including Best Feature Film in Hindi, and Best Actor for Amitabh Bachchan.

The film-maker hopes that the government understands the aim of the move, and sets things right. “It’s a protest from the industry, saying that we don’t believe in getting an award from a government or a country that thinks in a particular way. I applaud them (the film-makers) tremendously for doing this. The only thing is that I hope the government gets the point, and suitably amends its strategy without ridiculing the intent of these film-makers,” adds the director.

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