They’re one of the most prestigious awards in the country, but the National Awards sure did take a long time coming. On Friday, President Pratibha Patil handed over the 58th National Film Awards at the Vigyan Bhawan in the Capital, for the winning films of 2010 — nine months after the start of a new year. Experts feel this time lag reduces the impact of the awards.
Talking about the 2010 blockbuster Dabangg, which won the award for Wholesome Entertainment, trade analyst Taran Adarsh says, “When people are talking about Salman Khan’s Bodyguard, his Dabangg is being awarded… isn’t that strange? This delay doesn’t make sense today when new films release every week.”
Film expert Atul Mohan too feels it’s time to change the policy. “To make the awards more popular and visible, they need to speed up the process and also work on telecasting it, so that people realise how prestigious these awards are,” he says.
However, the winners say the delay is reasonable, given the scope of the awards. “This is not an award ceremony where the awards are decided on the basis of who is performing. It takes time to watch the best works of nationwide cinema,” says filmmaker Arindam Chaudhuri, whose film, Do Dooni Chaar, won the award for Best Hindi Feature Film.
“This is not just any award function. There is a protocol to follow. Work from all over the country has to be reviewed, and also, they need to check the President’s itinerary,” says Malaika Arora Khan, co-producer of Dabangg. “Besides, it’s never too late to get an award,” adds husband Arbaaz Khan.