I conditioned my mind that I won’t win any award for Haider: Vishal Bhardwaj
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Updated: Mar 26, 2015 13:19 IST
With the prestigious 62nd National Film Awards announced on March 24, we speak to some of the winners.
I conditioned my mind that I won’t win any award: Vishal Bhardwaj Filmmaker Vishal Bhardwaj’s Haider won five National Awards. He talks about his respect for the awards, and more.
What is the importance of these awards for you? The National Award is the only award I respect. I have no interest in popular awards. This was the only award I was waiting for, and I was scared that Haider, after so much controversy, might not be considered. In fact, I conditioned my mind that I won’t win any award. Now I’m happy.
Why were you thinking that you won’t get an award? The only time I expected an award was for Maachis (1996), but I didn’t get one. So, after that, I conditioned my mind. And of course, the popular award functions never give me anything, so that has also conditioned me in a way.
Did you feel that since Haider was embroiled in so many controversies, that might go against the film? All the awards (won by Haider) prove that the government is democratic as far as art is concerned. (As told to Prashant Singh)
I don’t work for awards: Kangana Ranaut Even though she won the National Award for Best Supporting Actress in 2010 for Fashion, Kangana Ranaut, who bagged yet another, this year, for Queen (Best Actress), says that awards are never on her mind.
Were you expecting a National Award for Queen? That wasn’t on my mind. I had no idea that the awards were going to be announced on Tuesday (March 24). I was shooting when I got the message. So, it came as bit of a shock (laughs).
As you have been shunning popular award shows, how do you perceive this honour? I’m grateful that they thought me worthy of it. But as I have maintained, this isn’t my priority. I don’t work for awards. When we did Queen, not in our wildest of dreams did we think that it will turn out to be such a big hit.
Will you go for the the National Awards ceremony? I want to go for the ceremony and will receive the award personally because it’s an honour the government is giving me. To receive it from the President is the biggest honour for an artiste. (As told to Prashant Singh)
It’s been a team effort: Vikas Bahl
As Queen becomes the recipient of the Best Hindi Film National Award, director Vikas Bahl talks about his film’s "tough" journey.
How do you feel on winning the award? I’m very happy. I believe that everything has a journey and if it is tough, people have something to talk about. But one person who I would like to thank is Vikram Malhotra (co-producer). He gave full support to the film.
Now, do you feel the tough times were all worth it? The film was postponed about four times, but for all the right reasons. Releasing a film is a nerve-wracking process. You are putting around Rs 4 to 5 crore into its marketing, and you don’t know whether you will recover that money or not. Though the process was frustrating at times, I still enjoyed it.
You are responsible for Kangana’s second National Award. I don’t think I’m responsible; Kangana deserved to win and earned it. In fact, thanks to her, I have got this award. It has been a team effort. (As told to Jigar Shah)
A triumph for Bengali cinema: Srijit Mukherji
Director Srijit Mukherji, who bagged two National Awards (Best Director and Best Screenplay), for his film, Chotushkone, says he will continue making the kind of films he wants to.
After your film won four National Awards last year, are you excited to win two again this year? I try to make the kind of films I personally want to. It’s an overwhelming feeling when you get two National Awards in the same year.
Do consistent awards add to the pressure? No, not really. I don’t feel any pressure. My next with Sushmita Sen is a different kind of film with little dialogue and no songs. Accolades come if you can offer a good film, so I better concentrate on doing that.
Is the Bengali film industry finally evolving beyond commercial potboilers? This year, Bengali cinema has bagged eight National Awards. It’s a triumph for the Bengali film industry. I don’t think even the Hindi film industry has got so many awards this year. (As told to Dibyojyoti Baksi)
Money can’t buy such an honour: Chaitanya Tamhane
Chaitanya Tamhane is just 28, but has already accomplished an envious feat — bagging the Best Feature National Award for his film, Court. The young film-maker talks about his struggles, and more.
Are you excited to bag the National Award? The timing couldn’t have been better because the film is releasing soon. Given the fact that it’s a small film, and we are releasing it independently, this is going to be a big boost. Money can’t buy such an honour.
Your film won multiple awards at the Venice Film Festival. Was it frustrating to not get many takers in India? More than frustrating, it’s disappointing because the film won two Lions at Venice. The National Award is our 18th award, but there hasn’t been much support from the mainstream Indian media.
In some interviews, you stated that you weren’t sure whether your film will get any audience? There was a lot of anxiety about who is going to watch this film because the film is about a folk artist from Maharashtra. So, we weren’t sure if people would get the social/cultural nuances that the film has. (As told to Prashant Singh)