President Presents 69 National Film Awards: A Glittering Night for Indian Cinema

On October 17, 2023, the Indian film industry celebrated its most prestigious event – the 69th National Film Awards. The grand ceremony, held at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi, was a star-studded affair. President Droupadi Murmu presided over the event, presenting accolades to outstanding talents who contributed to Indian cinema in various categories. 

The highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Dadasaheb Phalke Award to the legendary Bollywood actor, Waheeda Rehman. In this blog, we’ll delve into the significant moments of the 69th National Film Awards and explore the remarkable achievements of some of India’s most exceptional cinematic talents.

The Dadasaheb Phalke Award: Honoring Waheeda Rehman

The pinnacle of the evening was the bestowment of the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, the highest honor in Indian cinema. This year, it was presented to none other than the timeless Bollywood icon, Waheeda Rehman. 

President Murmu acknowledged Rehman’s unparalleled contributions to the film industry, praising not only her acting skills but also her persona and dignity. Waheeda Rehman’s life story serves as an inspiration for women empowerment. Her journey in the industry and her distinguished personal life have set an exemplary standard for women across the country.

In her acceptance speech, Waheeda Rehman expressed her gratitude and stated that this award was a reflection of the love and appreciation she had received throughout her career. Her legacy continues to inspire the younger generation of actors and actresses in the film industry.

A Tapestry of Diversity and Unity

In her address, President Droupadi Murmu highlighted how the National Film Awards ceremony symbolized the diversity and unity of India. The event brought together talents from various corners of the country, emphasizing that cinema knows no regional boundaries. 

This statement resonated with Union Minister Anurag Thakur’s views, who emphasized that good content, regardless of its regional origin, can capture global audiences. Thakur also underlined the government’s commitment to combat movie piracy through the Cinematograph Act.

Video Credit : President of India

List of Winners of 69th National Film Awards

The 69th National Film Awards recognized outstanding achievements in Indian cinema in various categories. Notably, S.S. Rajamouli’s magnum opus, “RRR,” emerged as the big winner, securing six awards. “Gangubai Kathiawadi” by Sanjay Leela Bhansali also shone brightly with five awards.

  1. “Rocketry: The Nambi Effect” was awarded the Best Feature Film, while the Best Actor award was presented to Allu Arjun for “Pushpa (The Rise Part 1).” Alia Bhatt and Kriti Sanon shared the Best Actress Award for their remarkable performances in “Gangubai Kathiawadi” and “Mimi,” respectively.
  1. Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri’s “The Kashmir Files” won the Nargis Dutt Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration. The Indira Gandhi Award for Best Debut Film of a Director was bestowed upon “Meppadiyan,” with “Godavari (The Holy Water)” receiving the award for Best Direction.
  1. “RRR” was honored with the Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment, Best Male Playback Singer, and a share of the Best Music Direction award with “Pushpa (The Rise Part I).” The film also clinched awards for Best Special Effects, Best Choreography, and Best Action Direction, with “King Soloman” directing the latter category.
  1. Gangubai Kathiawadi” received recognition for Best Screenplay, alongside “Nayattu (The Hunt)” for screenplay writing (original) by Shahi Kabir. The film also excelled in the Best Editing and Best Make-up Artist categories.
  1. “Film Sardar Udham” claimed national awards in Best Hindi Film, Best Cinematography, Best Audiography, Best Production Design, and Best Costume Designer categories.
  1. Pankaj Tripathi (“Mimi”) was honored as the Best Supporting Actor, and Pallavi Joshi (“The Kashmir Files”) received the accolade for Best Supporting Actress. The Best Non-Feature Film award was granted to “Ek Tha Gaon” by Srishti Lakhera.
  1. In the musical realm, Kaala Bhairava was awarded the Best Male Playback Singer for “Komuram Bheemudo” in “RRR,” and Shreya Ghoshal received the Best Female Playback Singer award for “Maayava Chaayavaa” in “Iravin Nizhal (Shadow of the Night).” Chandrabose’s lyrics for “Dham Dham Dham” in “Konda Polam” secured the Best Lyrics award.
  1. The ceremony also acknowledged contributions to film criticism and literature on cinema. The Critics Special Mention went to Subramanya Badoor (Kannada), while Purushothama Charyulu (Telugu) received the Best Film Critic award. The Best Book on Cinema was bestowed upon “Music by Lakxmikant Pyarelal: The Incredibly Melodious Journey” by Rajiv Vijayakar (publisher: Rupa Publications India).

Wrapping it up

The 69th National Film Awards celebrated the spirit of Indian cinema and its rich diversity. As President Droupadi Murmu aptly noted, the event underscored the unity that exists within this vast and multifaceted industry. With the presentation of the Dadasaheb Phalke Award to Waheeda Rehman, the evening paid tribute to an iconic actress who has not only left an indelible mark on the silver screen but also inspired women across the nation. 

The awards also recognized the outstanding contributions of the winners across various categories, highlighting the incredible talent that continues to enrich Indian cinema. It was indeed a glittering night for the Indian film industry, reaffirming its status as one of the world’s most vibrant and creative cinematic hubs.