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National Award winners want either president or Smriti Irani to felicitate all winners

In a departure from tradition, the National Awards itinerary stated that president Ram Nath Kovind will be handing out only 11 awards.

Sridevi and Vinod Khanna will be felicitated posthumously


The 65th National Film Awards ceremony is set to take place today (3 May), but the rehearsals yesterday faced some troublesome circumstances. According to reports, several recipients of the awards were not pleased to hear that the president of India, Ram Nath Kovind, will not be handing out all the awards.

Mumbai Mirror, a tabloid, reported that the awardees, who had gathered at the Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi on Wednesday (2 May) learnt that the president will only be handing out 11 awards, while the rest will be presented by union minister of information and broadcasting, Smriti Irani, state minister of information and broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore, and secretary of information and broadcasting, Narendra Kumar Sinha.

While the itinerary included the customary photo-op with the president, the ceremony included a departure from tradition in allowing the Union and state ministers to felicitate the awardees. This did not go down well with several recipients who wrote to Irani asking her to rethink the plan.

The report quoted a source as saying that the awardees want either Kovind or Irani to felicitate all the winners. "They were against differentiation of winners, and demarcation of awards was not acceptable to anybody and the threat of boycott was repeated," the source said.

Following are some of the awards to be presented at the 65th National Film Awards:

Dadasaheb Phalke Award: Vinod Khanna

Best Actress: Sridevi for Mom (2017)

Nargis Dutt Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration: Dhappa (2017, Marathi)

Best Book on Cinema: Matamgi Manipur for The First Manipuri Feature Film (2017, English)

Best Direction: Nagraj Popatrao Manjule for Pavsacha Nibandh (2017)

Best Jasari film: Sinjar (2017)

Best Male Playback Singer: KJ Yesudas for 'Poy Maranja Kalam' from Viswasapoorvam Mansoor (2017, Malayalam)

Best Music Direction (Songs): AR Rahman for Kaatru Veliyidai (2017, Tamil)

Best Music Direction (Background score): Mom (2017, Hindi)

Best Actor: Riddhi Sen for Nagarkirtan (2017, Bengali)

Best Direction: Jayaraj for Bhayanakam (2017, Malayalam)

Best Feature Film: Village Rockstars (2017, Assamese)

Best Editing: Village Rockstars (2017)

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National Awards