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66th National Film Awards postponed to after the general election

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The ministry of information and broadcasting deferred the announcement of the winners of the National Film Awards citing the model code of conduct in place for the seven-phase election.

Our Correspondent

With the general election on in seven phases, the film awards season has had to take a step back. The Union ministry of information and broadcasting has deferred the announcement of the National Film Awards citing the model code of conduct in place for the election.

Typically, the National awards are announced in the month of April, with the ceremony held later in May. However, according to a recent notice by the ministry, the list of winners will be announced after the general election. 

In the notice, the ministry said, "The selections for the National Film Awards are made by an independent and impartial jury consisting of eminent filmmakers and film personalities and declared in the month of April every year." 

It went on to add, "However, this year elections to the 17th Lok Sabha and the Legislative Assemblies of four states are underway and the Awards also include one for the most film friendly state. Since the model code of conduct (MCC) is in force, which facilitates a level playing field to all political parties and candidates and inter alia seeks to ensure that the power of media is not used in such a manner which affects the general conduct and level playing field during the election process, it has been decided to declare the awards after the election process is over and MCC concludes (sic)."

The model code has been in place since March, a month before the elections began. The results of the Lok Sabha elections are expected to be announced on 23 May. 

Every year the winners of the awards, organised and presented by the Directorate of Film Festivals, are announced in the month of April and the presentation ceremony is held on the designated date, 3 May. During the last general elections, the 61st National Film Awards were announced as per schedule, on 16 April 2014 and were presented on 3 May 2014. The National Film Awards are presented to the winners by the president of India at Rashtrapati Bhavan. 

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