New Delhi: After nearly two years of controversies the 53rd National Film Awards were declared on Tuesday.
Bengali film Kaalpurush directed by Buddhadeb Dasgupta was declared the Best Feature Film for 2005 while Hindi film Parineeta directed by Prodip Sarkar was adjudged Indira Gandhi Award for Best First Film of a Director.
The Best Actor Award went to superstar Amitabh Bachchan for his performance in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Black. Sarika has been adjudged the best actress in recognition of her performance in the film Parzania directed by Rahul Dholakia.
Director Rakesh Omprakash Mehra’s Rang De Basanti was declared the Best Popular Film providing wholesome entertainment and Nargis Dutt Award for the Best Feature Film on National Integration went to Malayalam film Daivanamathil which is directed by Jayaraj.
The prestigious awards ran into controversy last year when Kolkata-based film critic Shyamli Banerjee filed a petition in the Delhi High Court levelling charges of corruption and fixing in deciding the 53rd Awards.
Banerjee had alleged that there is pressure on the members of the jury by the Directorate of the Film Festivals (DFF) to decide in favour of particular films.
She had said that the 53rd National Awards had been “hijacked” and a nexus existed between producers, distributors and directors.
Banerjee had also said that Black or it's actors in the film should not get the National Award as the movie is an adaptation of the film The Miracle Worker and according to the rules no adaptations can be given awards.
The 53rd National Awards is for films produced between January 1, 2005 and December 31, 2005.
Past not perfect
In another brush with controversy documentary filmmaker Anand Patwardhan filed a petition in the Bombay High Court challenging the entry criteria for the National Awards, which does not allow films without a censor certificate.
The Bombay High Court upheld the petition in July last year, but the Directorate of Films later challenged the decision.
However, in April the Supreme Court verdict put aside the Bombay High Court's decision.
Last year was declared a 'zero year' for the Film Awards due to the string of controversies.