National Film Awards: are they rewarding enough?

  • Sweta Kaushal, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • |
  • Updated: Apr 18, 2014 12:50 IST
  • Paan Singh Tomar

    Paan Singh Tomar bagged two awards; one for the Best Actor received by Irrfan Khan and another for Best Hindi Feature Film that went to ...

  • Anuu Kapoor

    Anuu Kapoor and Dolly Ahluwalia received the National Awards for Best Actor and Actress in Supporting Roles for their performances Vicky Donor.

  • Parineeti Chopra

    Parineeti Chopra received special mention for her performance in Ishaqzaade.

  • Nawazuddin Siddiqui

    Nawazuddin Siddiqui received Special Jury Award for his performance in four films across the year - Talaash, Kahaani, Gangs of Wasseypur and Dekh Indian Circus. ...

  • Kahaani

    Sujoy Ghosh received the Best Screenplay Writer (Original) for Kahaani.

  • Gangs of Wasseypur

    Alok De, Sinoy Joseph and Shreejesh Nair received the National Film Award for Best Sound Recording for Gangs of Wasseypur.

  • OMG Oh My God

    Bhavesh Mandalia and Umesh Shukla received Best Screenplay Writer (Adapted) for OMG - Oh My God!

  • Shankar Mahadevan

    The Best Play back Singer (Male) Award was given to Shankar Mahadevan for his song Bolo Na in Chittagong.

  • Vikram Gokhale

    Vikram Gokhale shared the National Film Award for Best Actor with Irrfan for the former's Marathi film Anumati.

  • Usha Jadhav

    Usha Jadhav won the Best Actress award for playing a rustic housewife in Marathi film Dhag. Dhag also received Best Director's gong.

The winners of the 61st National Awards were announced on Wednesday. It had some big names while many others were independent filmmakers trying to get a toehold in the film industry.
Accepted that these awards bring in recognition and prestige for the winners, but are they rewarding enough for the winners?
In monetary terms, the producer and director of the best film get Rs 2.5 lakh each. The amount is same for the winner of the best director award.
The best actors (male as well as female) get Rs 50,000 each.

Compare the figures with what the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) offers. The winner of best film gets about Rs 4.5 lakh. While best director gets Rs 18 lakh, best actor takes home
Rs 20 lakh. The same amount is awarded to the best actress awardee. The figures are approximiate and may change from year to year.
If we take a look at the international scenario, film festivals like Cannes and Oscars do not give any monetary rewards to their winners. However, they take home freebies worth thousands of dollars.
These film festivals also have some sections (Cannes has Palm d'Or, Grand Prix and Jury Prizes) that pay off monetarily. Additionally, the sponsors and advertisers, too, gift goodies to the winners and celebs attending the functions.
On the other hand, our National Awards do not facilitate any such benefit.
In an age where Indian cinema is getting experimenting and brave new directors are daring to break the mould, money remains a constraint. Directors and filmmakers often complain that getting producers for their out-of-box stories is difficult. Production houses want 'sure shot winning stories' (read repetitive and regressive) and big faces (read stars) before they invest in a film.
Talking to Hindustan Times, director-producer Arbaaz Khan said, "I don't think any winner thinks in terms of money. They are more than happy with recognition. It is not really monetary gain but just a token amount."
He, however, believes it is time the cash prize was increased. "I definitely feel that they should raise the amount with time, if and when they think it is right."
BA Pass director Ajay Bahl, however, disagrees. He said. "I think they should multiply the amount (Rs 2.5 lakh for the best film) by ten times. The recognition is fine, but what does the filmmaker get? Any film takes at least a crore to be produced. Minimum they should do is compensate filmmakers for all the taxes they have already paid."
Bahl also had some interesting suggestions for the panel on National Awards. "Considering the fact that most of the films winning National Awards rarely make money at the box office, I think they should ensure that the filmmakers get a decent monetary prize. That will encourage the producers too who put in a lot of risk," he added.
Bahl also said that the state should think of encouraging good cinema. They could fund the next film of the winner or at least help them raise funds for the next venture (after taking a look at the script). "This will raise the quality of cinema in the country," Ajay added.


also read

Hrithik Roshan on dating Kangana Ranaut: 'Oh my God'

blog comments powered by Disqus