National Film Awards Report: I Didn’t Win the Best Book

I didn’t even know they HAD a  “Best Book on Cinema” category, and now it is ALL I WANT IN THE WORLD.  I am sure it is limited to Indian citizens, but I will CHANGE CITIZENSHIP (at least temporarily) if they will give me this prize.  I so clearly deserve it!  My book is brilliant!

Blah blah, a bunch of people who weren’t me won stuff, whatever.

The purpose of the National Awards is to encourage and reward good work, whether or not it was popular with the masses.  As a subset of this goal, it also recognizes films from a variety of languages (hopefully encouraging people to try movies outside of their home regions).  All of this is laudable,

But it is also, of course, a governmental award.  Which means it is open to politicking.  The most important part of getting a National Award is pleasing the committee.  Which, to be fair, primarily means doing good work.  I’m not going to say the committee is swayed entirely by politics and connections, you do have to have an actual good product to get 90% of the way there.  But that last 10%, that’s where other considerations may come up.

And that last 10%, that is why I can’t give big coverage of these awards!  Because I don’t know the politics of India, the ins and outs of why a particular film on a particular topic might have an edge over the others.  Especially in the regional selections.

So I am going to put a list of the winners (notice, I am NOT ON IT!  A TRAVESTY!), and add explanations when I have explanations to make, but otherwise put them up without anything.  And you can fill me in in the comments if I missed something obvious like “This film is a biopic of the current Chief Minister’s grandfather, so of course it won.” (list courtesy of wikipedia.  I give them $3 a month so I don’t feel bad about using them)

Name of Award Name of Film Language Awardee(s) Cash Prize
Best Feature Film Village Rockstars

(I am happy wit this, Assam is a troubled region, they can use some attention and I am sure the producer/director can use the money)

Assamese Producer: Rima Das
Director: Rima Das
₹ 250,000/- Each
Best Debut Film of A Director Sinjar Jasari Producer: Shibu G. Suseelan
Director: Pampally
₹ 125,000/- Each
Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment Baahubali 2: The Conclusion

(Well, obviously!  They had to acknowledge it somehow.  I also like the implication that at some point in the past there was an award for films providing non-wholesome entertainment)

Telugu Producer: Shobu YarlagaddaArka Media Works (P) LTD.
Director: S. S. Rajamouli
₹ 200,000/- Each
Best Children’s Film Mhorkya Marathi Producer: Kalyan Rajmogli Padal
Director: Amar Bharat Deokar
₹ 150,000/- Each
Best Direction Bhayanakam

(frequent flyer winner here, it looks like this movie may not have even come out yet theatrically?  But I am sure it is good, Jayaraj has all kinds of international film festival awards and stuff already)

Malayalam Jayaraj ₹ 250,000/-

Silver Lotus Award

Official Name: Rajat Kamal

All the awardees are awarded with ‘Silver Lotus Award (Rajat Kamal)’, a certificate and cash prize.

Name of Award Name of Film Language Awardee(s) Cash Prize
Best Feature Film on National Integration Dhappa Marathi Producer: Sumatilal Popatlal Shah
Director: Nipun Dharmadhikari
₹ 150,000/- Each
Best Film on Other Social Issues Aalorukkam Malayalam Producer: Jolly Lonappan
Director: V. C. Abhilash
₹ 150,000/- Each
Best Film on Environment/Conservation/Preservation Irada Hindi Producer: Irada Entertrainment
Aparnaa Singh
₹ 150,000/- Each
Best Actor Nagarkirtan Bengali Riddhi Sen ₹ 50,000/-
Best Actress Mom

(Well, duh)

Hindi Sridevi ₹ 50,000/-
Best Supporting Actor Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum

(Huh.  He was good, but I don’t think he was National Award good.  Plus, I don’t think it was a supporting role so much as a co-lead)

Malayalam Fahadh Faasil ₹ 50,000/-
Best Supporting Actress Irada

(Another award for Irada!  Which I think is on Netflix?  Is Netflix pushing to get more awards somehow or is this just a coincidence?)

Hindi Divya Dutta ₹ 50,000/-
Best Child Artist Village Rockstars Assamese Bhanita Das ₹ 50,000/-
Best Male Playback Singer Viswasapoorvam Mansoor
(For the song “Poy Maranja Kalam”) (Aha! It’s by a “veteran” singer.  maybe that’s why?  Wanting to give recognition to an old favorite?)
Malayalam K.J. Yesudas ₹ 50,000/-
Best Female Playback Singer Kaatru Veliyidai
(For the song “Vaan Varuvaan”)

(Yeah, that was a beautiful song.  And it tics off the “Rahman always wins something” box)

Tamil Shashaa Tirupati ₹ 50,000/-
Best Cinematography Bhayanakam

(So, Malayalam is the generally accepted industry to win?  That makes sense, I mean they are really really good, and not terribly political, so you can find a good safe winner)

Malayalam Nikhil S. Praveen ₹ 50,000/-
Best Screenplay
• Screenplay Writer (Original)
Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum

(Really?  Best screenplay?  I didn’t have the language, but just the story by itself didn’t feel like “best in the country in 2017”.  I’d pick Ittefaq, for instance, over this just as a script)

Malayalam Sajeev Pazhoor ₹ 50,000/-
Best Screenplay
• Screenplay Writer (Adapted)
Bhayanakam Malayalam Jayaraj ₹ 50,000/-
Best Screenplay
• Dialogues
Hello Arsi Odia Sambit Mohanty ₹ 50,000/-
Best Audiography
• Location Sound Recordist
Village Rockstars Assamese Mallika Das ₹ 50,000/-
Best Audiography
• Sound Designer
Walking With The Wind Ladakhi Sanal George ₹ 50,000/-
Best Audiography
• Re-recordist of the Final Mixed Track
Walking With The Wind Ladakhi Justin A. Jose ₹ 50,000/-
Best Editing Village Rockstars Assamese Rima Das ₹ 50,000/-
Best Production Design Take Off Malayalam Santhosh Raman ₹ 50,000/-
Best Costume Design Nagarkirtan Bengali Gobinda Mandal ₹ 50,000/-
Best Make-up Artist Nagarkirtan Bengali Ram Rajjak ₹ 50,000/-
Best Music Direction
• Songs
Kaatru Veliyidai

(Never mind, THIS is the “Rahman always wins something” moment)

Tamil A. R. Rahman ₹ 50,000/-
Best Music Direction
• Background Score

(No, this one.  Glad they went with “background score”, because the songs weren’t that impressive)

Hindi A. R. Rahman ₹ 50,000/-
Best Lyrics March 22
(For the song “Mutthu Ratna”)
Kannada J. M. Prahlad ₹ 50,000/-
Best Special Effects Baahubali 2: The Conclusion

(Doy! What else was going to win, freaking Jagga Jasoos?)

Telugu R. C. Kamalakannan ₹ 50,000/-
Best Choreography Toilet Ek Prem Katha
(For the song “Gori Tu Latth Maar”)

(No.  It was an okay song, but there was so much better this year.  “Chandralekha” from A Gentleman even was better)

Hindi Ganesh Acharya ₹ 50,000/-
Best Stunt Choreographer Baahubali 2: The Conclusion

(Doy.  Although if YRF really wanted it, I bet they could have taken it for Tiger)

Telugu Peter Hein
King Solomon
Lee Whittaker
Kecha Khamphakdee
₹ 50,000/-
Special Jury Award Nagarkirtan Bengali Producer: Sani Ghose Ray
Director : Sani Ghose Ray
₹ 2,00,000/-
Special Mention Newton

(BOOOOOO!  Should have been WAY MORE than “special mention”.  If the Jury wasn’t trying to balance languages and not have a Hindi sweep, it would have taken a lot more)

Hindi Pankaj Tripathi Certificate only
Take Off Malayalam Parvathy (Actress)
Hello Arsi Odia Prakruti Mishra
Mhorkya Marathi Yasharaj Karhade

Regional Awards

Name of Award Name of Film Awardee(s) Cash Prize
Best Feature Film in Assamese Ishu

(Well, this is just a logical puzzle.  How can it be the best film in Assamese if another Assamese film was the best film in India?)

Producer: Udara Films
Director : Utpal Borpujari
Best Feature Film in Bengali Mayurakshi Producer: Firdausul Hasan, Prabal Halder
Director : Atanu Ghosh
Best Feature Film in Gujarati Dhh Producer:
Director: Manish Saini
Best Feature Film in Hindi Newton (film)

(Fine, sure, consolation prize)

Producer:Drishyam Films
Director : Amit V Masurkar
Best Feature Film in Kannada Hebbettu Ramakka Producer: S..A. Puttaraju
Director : N.R. Nanjunde Gowda
Best Feature Film in Malayalam Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum

(SEE?  This is what I am saying about the Assamese choice, this one makes SENSE!)

Producer: Urvasi Theatres
Director: Dileesh Pothan
Best Feature Film in Marathi Kaccha Limboo Producer:Mandar Devastali
Director:Prasad Oak
Best Feature Film in Tamil Tolet Producer: Prema Chezhian
Director: Chezhiyan
Best Feature Film in Telugu The Ghazi Attack

(Huh.  REALLY?  Feels like sucking up to Dharma/Rana/patriotism.  Arjun Reddy, for instance, would have been a better choice)

Producer:Anvesh ReddyVenkatramana Reddy Prasad V Potluri NM Pasha Jagan Mohan Vancha
Director: Sankalp Reddy
Name of Award Name of Film Awardee(s) Cash Prize
Best Feature Film in Jasari Sinjar Producer: Shibu G Suseelan
Director: Pampally
Best Feature Film in Ladakhi Walking With The Wind Producer: Mahesh Mohan
Director: Praveen Morchhale
Best Feature Film in Odia Hello Arsi Producer: Ajaya Routray
Director: Sambit Mohanty
Best Feature Film in Tulu Paddayi Producer: Nithyananda Pai
Director: Abhaya Simha

Non-Feature Films

Short Films made in any Indian language and certified by the Central Board of Film Certification as a documentary/newsreel/fiction are eligible for non-feature film section.

Golden Lotus Award

Official Name: Swarna Kamal

All the awardees are awarded with ‘Golden Lotus Award (Swarna Kamal)’, a certificate and cash prize.

Name of Award Name of Film Language Awardee(s) Cash Prize
Best Non-Feature Film (On the one hand, I am glad they didn’t pick anything if they didn’t feel there was anything worthy.  But then on the other hand, there are so many struggling young filmmakers, it is a pity to keep this money away from them) Producer:
₹ 100,000/- Each
Best Director in Non-Feature Film (same as above) Producer:
₹ 150,000/- to the Director

Silver Lotus Award[edit]

Official Name: Rajat Kamal

All the Awardees are awarded with ‘Silver Lotus Award (Rajat Kamal)’ and cash prize.

Name of Award Name of Film Language Awardee(s) Cash Prize
Best First Non-Feature Film  (I guess there were just no non-feature films in India this year?) Producer:
₹ 50,000/- Each
Best Biographical Film / Best Historical Reconstruction / Compilation Film Naachi se Baanchi

Sword of Liberty

Producer: Films Division
Director: Biju Toppo

Producer: R C Suresh
Director: Shiny Jacob Benjamin

₹ 50,000/- Each (Cash Component to be shared)
Best Arts / Cultural Film Girija Producer: Madhu Chandra, Sudha Datta
Director: Debapriya Adhikary, Samanwaya Sarkar
₹ 50,000/- Each
Best Environment Film including Best Agricultural Film The Pangti Story Producer: RAJIV MEHROTRA
₹ 50,000/- Each
Best Promotional Film Poetry on Fabric : Chendari Nama Producer: Sanjay Gupta for Pro Art India
Director: Rajendra Janglay
₹ 50,000/- Each
Best Film on Social Issues I am Bonnie

Veil Done

Producer: Films Division
Director: Satarupa Santra

Producer: JUHI BHATT

₹ 50,000/- Each (Cash Component to be shared)
Best Educational / Motivational / Instructional Film The Little Girl We Were and the Women We Are Producer: RAHI Foundation
Director: Vaishali Sood
₹ 50,000/- Each
Best Anthropological/Ethnographic Film Name, Place, Animal, Thing

Slave Genesis

Producer: Nithin R
Director: Nithin R

Producer: Aneez K M
Director: Aneez K M

₹ 50,000/- Each (Cash Component to be shared)
Best Exploration / Adventure Film Ladakh Chale Richawala Producer: Films Division
Director: Indrani Chakrabarti
₹ 50,000/- Each
Best Investigative Film 1984, When the sun didn’t rise

(Well, Congress is clearly out of power)

Producer: Teenaa Kaur
Director: Teenaa Kaur
₹ 50,000/- Each
Best Animation Film The Fish Curry

The Basket


Producer: Nilima Eriyat
Director: Suresh Eriyat
Animator: Studio EEKSAURUS

₹ 50,000/- Each (Cash Component to be shared)
Best Short Fiction Film Mayat Producer: Dr Suyash Shinde
Director: Dr Suyash Shinde
₹ 50,000/- Each
Best Film on Family Welfare Happy Birthday Producer: FTII
₹ 50,000/- Each
Best Cinematography Eye Test


Cameraman: Appu Prabhakar

Cameraman: Arnold Fernandes

₹ 50,000/- Each
Best Audiography Pavasacha Nibandha Avinash Sonawane ₹ 50,000/-
Best Editing Mrityubhoj The Death Feast Sanjiv Monga & Tenzin Kunchok ₹ 50,000/-
Best Music Direction Shored of Liberty Ramesh Narayanan ₹ 50,000/-
Best Narration / Voice over The Lion of Laddak Narrator: Francois Castellino ₹ 50,000/-
Special Jury Award A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings


Producer: Films Division
Director: Prateek Vats

Producer: FTTI
Director: Arun K

₹ 50,000/- Each (Cash Component to be shared)
Special Mention Rebirth Jayaraj Certificate
Cake Story Rukshana Tabassum Certificate
Afternoon Swapnil Vasant Kapure Certificate
Best On Location – Sound Recordist The Unreserved Samarth Mahajan ₹ 50,000/-

46 thoughts on “National Film Awards Report: I Didn’t Win the Best Book

  1. This was a very satisfying and deserving awards list. and the way awards were presented by shekar kapur was beautiful. giving little insight about every film. It actually felt like they watched all the films unlike previous year. and Thondimuthal and fahadh faasil deserved all the recognitions. infact even more. I was expecting best film and best actor for them.. probably fahad will win the best actor next year for carbon.


    • I still just can’t see what is so remarkable about Carbon, either the film or his performance. But, so far as I can tell from the little I know about this list, it was a generally good collection.


      • I was stunned by fahad in carbon. After watching thondimuthal I thought it would be his best ever peformance and he wud never surpass it. But he proved me wrong in the very next film


    • Internet says, an Island off of Kerala? But I am not sure how correct The Internet is in this case.

      On Fri, Apr 13, 2018 at 12:21 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



        • Did you ever run across the “Gullah” language? It’s a slave dialect that evolved into it’s own language and there was a movie made in it in the 90s I think. I’ve seen parts of that movie, but I should really watch all of it.

          On Fri, Apr 13, 2018 at 12:41 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



  2. Actually I thought Fahad Fazil was the supporting actor and Suraj Venjaramoodu was the lead in Thondimothalum Driksakshiyum. He was really good in the movie. The movie gets going once he shows up – and I thought he walked that tight rope between guilt and sympathy very well. He does really well in roles that have a lot of grey. Now I obviously haven’t seen all the movies but one thing to note is movies have to apply for each category. So the producers have to send in applications for best Supporting actor, its not that the jury sees all the movies to decide on it. Also, big big factor – last year there was a lot of backlash that Fahad lost best actor to Akshay Kumar for Maheshinte Prathikaram. I mean any one should’ve won over Akshay Kumar but that is also probably something the jury was thinking about.

    Also for screenplay, don’t think Ittefaq would qualify for it because it would go to the Adapted section (there was too much that it borrowed from the original Ittefaq). And National Awards always go for movies that are rooted and realistic.


    • See, this is the background that I don’t have! I didn’t know Fahad lost last year (Akshay winning was ridiculous, as I said at the time, primarily because it was for Rustom. He should have won for Airlift if anything).

      On Fri, Apr 13, 2018 at 12:48 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



      • I thought Akshay shouldn’t have won it at all period! I don’t really like his acting except when he does comedy. If anything Rajkumar should’ve won it for Trapped or *any* of his other movies.
        But Priyadarshan was going through a brain fade obviously.


        • What bothers me is that i can accept the basic premise that Priyadarshan was going to give it to Akshay no matter what just because they are friends, but once you are limited down to only Akshay performances in 2016, why FREAKIN RUSTOM??????


          • Haha I couldn’t get over the bright saturated frames in that movie. The colorist sure had a free hand 😀


          • Which I am chalking up to Akshay’s laziness! He didn’t want to work long hours or do location shooting, so they just shot the whole thing on soundstages and used the color correction to help cover up the bad green screen.

            On Fri, Apr 13, 2018 at 1:37 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



  3. I haven’t watched Thondimuthalum fully, but whatever I’ve seen of it, Fahad was brilliant. He’s one of my favorites in Malayalam, loved him in Annayum Rasoolum and in Bangalore Days.


  4. Ohhh that makes so much sense vis-a-vis bad coloring. Thank you for solving that puzzle! I was like “How/Why would they do that??!? “


    • I suspect the same thing with Rohit Shetty. He is in love with coloring as an artistic technique, which I am fine with because he uses it well (instead of just stupid pointless correction like in Rustom), but I bet he started using it to hide green screen effects and wires.

      On Fri, Apr 13, 2018 at 3:08 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



  5. Happy with the wins for Fahadh Fazil and Thondimuthalum driksakshiyum – favourite performance and movie from last year. And it’s 2 out of 2 for the director of the film, won national awards for both his films so far. Also good to see the awards reflect the overall quality of regional films with respect to Bollywood last year.


  6. Re your question on the Assamese films. I believe once a film is picked as the overall “best film” from the whole country, it is no longer in the running for its language category.

    What really strikes me is the puny amount of the cash prizes. These prize amounts were set up in the 1950’s (or whenever the awards were first instituted) when the budgets for entire feature films was in the lakhs –heck, you could make a commercial Telugu film starring the likes of ANR, NTR, and Savitri for 2-3 lakhs, and 5 lakhs was considered “mega budget.” So giving 2.5 or even 1.5 lakhs was a realistic contribution to funding the filmmaker’s next film, and you could say that the award was truly “encouraging” talented people. But now? These people could appear on a freaking TV game show and make that much money or more. They really need to revamp the prize amounts to take inflation into account. Heck, the prize amount isn’t even enough to pay the entry fee into a major international film festival, how is it supposed to encourage the smaller, independent film maker? As for the larger films, the budget for Bahubali 2 was about 350 crores, and they give the producer 2 lakhs (less than 1/10000 of the cost of production) to recognize his efforts?

    Re Ghazi — don’t forget it’s produced by Rana, i.e., Suresh Productions, which is a huge, huge production house in Telugu films, and has been for a few generations. If you want to talk connections, that’s probably what helped, not anything to do with KJo or Dharma, who only handled the Hindi dubbed version, just like for the Bahubali films. Also, the film was a genuine hit in Telugu, and was much appreciated for its special effects.

    These awards are for films released in 2017. Didn’t Arjun Reddy release in 2018? Plus that producer is much smaller than Suresh Productions.

    As someone said above, the jury only reviews the films that have been submitted to it. For the categories where there was no winner, it’s quite possible (actually probable) that no one submitted a film in that category. Another point for you to note about the jury is that it is dissolved after each prize giving session, and reconstituted for the next year’s awards, so usually it’s a new set of people (and chairperson) each year. Hence, tastes (and connections) will vary from year to year.


    • I think the Jury system is really healthy, if you assume the jury will always have some kind of bias, the best thing to do is keep refreshing the jury and changing up the biases.

      I didn’t even think about how small the prizes were, I was translating them to American money, when they would be reasonable. $250,000 is a stretch even for a small film, but doable with money left over for festival admissions and travel. But $10,000 or whatever it would be in Rupees (and that’s the top prize) would cover maybe a short film with volunteer workers, but no money for anything else. If they don’t want to reform them, they should just get rid of them entirely, make it clear that the award is the honor and stop a pretense of any monetary benefit.

      Oh, and Arjun Reddy was definitely 2017. But maybe the director’s next film, with a higher profile and a different Jury, will win.


      • As we’ve said, the jury only considers the films submitted to them, and there is an application fee to submit — not too large, but large enough to keep the flakes out. It’s entirely possible that the Arjun Reddy producer, being a small time one, either didn’t want to spring the application fee, wasn’t aware he’d have to apply, missed the deadline for applying, or just didn’t care about the national awards, since the prize amount is so small. One of the biggest of these “producer forgot” cases is that of Manisha for Khamoshi – the Musical. Bhansali apparently forgot to apply to have her considered for best actress, and missed the deadline to apply when he finally did remember, thus robbing Manisha of an award for one of her finest performances.


        • Thank you! that explains one of the factors i was missing, that would be the simple connection between Irada winning a couple awards and Netflix. If the producer/director was savvy enough to manage a Netflix deal, no doubt he was savvy enough to handle the paperwork for a National Award submission. While Arjun Reddy, with its confusing production rights history (the director himself not realizing the remake rights were up for sale), sounds like a production that didn’t have everything quite together.

          On Fri, Apr 13, 2018 at 8:13 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



  7. I might be the biggest Bahubali fan in the world and I am very upset of the movie winning the NATIONAL AWARD FOR SPECIAL/VISUAL EFFECTS. Really?! ‘____________’ #PalmTrees

    Very Happy for Fahad Fazil ❤ and T.D.


  8. Oh, btw, they also have an award for best film criticism. 🙂 Bardwaj Rangan won it some years ago, which is how I became aware of him.


  9. Awards galore for the Malayalam film industry! This was how it used to be during the 80’s – the local media thinks the main reason for this is because there was no Malayalee in the committee.

    JASARI is a language spoken in the Lakshwadeep islands. It’s a combination of Malayalam, Tamil & Arabic. It’s probably the first JASARI film to be made in India, and I think by people from Kerala.

    Thondimuthal is a brilliant film! And so was Fahadh’s acting. Personally thought it was international quality!

    So so many people have rated it as the best film for 2017 (B Rangan, Srihari from rediff, The Take Off director, Lijo Jose Pellisseri, so many of them).

    I totally get it that you didn’t “get” the film – that’s because there was no attempt to make you understand (one reason why I thought it was brilliant).

    This is what Sekhar Kapoor had to say about the film –

    The best male playback singer is “K J Yesudas”. He’s not just a “veteran” singer. He’s a legend, and already won the award 7 times (and some 40 state awards to go with it). Needless to say, it’s the highest by anybody by far!

    It’s only 7 because some jury in the past felt he might not accept any more awards (the second best singer in His Highness Abdullah won the national award that year ). He’s also a “Padma VIbhushan”, the second highest civilian award. He doesn’t need “to be given a recognition for being an old veteran”

    I know you’re disappointed because Bollywood didn’t win much. To me, it was a very fair judgement after a long long time! Well, maybe they could’ve swapped Sridevi’s award with Parvathy (but no complaints). Mostly, I’m glad that they ignored the crap they call bollywood!

    Sekhar Kapoor on Bollywood vs Regional:-

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Malayali Cinematographers are some of the best in business It has been so for a long time -probably from the Santhosh Sivan days.


    • Actually there were good cinematographers before him like Venu, Shaji N karun.The difference is Santosh Sivan chose to work in other industries.Also the idea of cinematography was different then,the frames were kept less flashy and unnoticeable.


  11. Shekhar Kapoor is mincing no words:

    The jury for National awards is definitely guided by the chairman’s biases. Years when Priyadarshan, Ramesh Sippy etc becomes jury chairmans were the years for celebrating mediocrity & Bollywood. Shekhar Kapur doesn’t seem like a fan of Bollywood which helped the deserving films & artists from other industries win. These awards are the only chance for the actors & technicians from small industries, small films to gain a pan-India appreciation.
    Shekhar Kapur though seems to have made exceptions for his own biases. I can’t imagine the BGM of any other movie, let alone Mom’s BGM, contributing as much as MM Keeravani’s score did for Baahubali. I strongly believe that that BGM score was one of the top reasons people connected so well with the emotions of that movie. So that’s Shekhar Kapur saying hi-five to his friend A R Rahman. Kaatru Veliyidai’s music also was average even for an ARR fan like me. So that’s Shekhar Kapur doing a Priyadarshan for his friend ARR.

    One of the jury members has now revealed that Sridevi was never part of the initial rounds of judging and the jury was veering towards Parvathy. He has accused Shekhar Kapur of sabotaging the award either due to his own bias or political interference. Even before this reveal, I felt it is a highly questionable way to pay tribute to the memory of a wonderful actress. She had given so many award worthy performances when she was alive. And this posthumous award is not going to be an encouragement to Sridevi in a way it would inspire a living one to do better or gain the due recognition. This award is for Sridevi’s legacy & those who want to decorate her memory with honours. I don’t see the Bharataratna or the Padma Vibhushan nominations too far.

    Arjun Reddy for best Telugu film? There are many young girls who already think having a possessive, controlling & angry boyfriend is all cute & romantic. The film doesn’t preach so but by giving an award, the misogynistic, troublesome tone & character of Arjun Reddy is validated as something worth recognising. Also if you take away Vijay’s performance, it is mere Devdas story.Ghazi had a lot more interesting plot, setting & execution. The non-jingoistic,subdued nationalist tone is an added plus when looking for best film in an industry where majority of the movies are masala flicks & not known for artistic quality.

    I’m going to be a little cheeky & say that I don’t see you winning a critic award or book award at the National awards, if you keep on writing that Aiyaa & A Gentleman are brilliant , JHMS is deep, Ittefaq is original,SRK’s performances are different & path breaking & Fahadh’s is ‘not national award-worthy’. That is not until some Bollywood director becomes the jury chairman..;)


    • Thanks for the link! He articulates why I wouldn’t want to be on the National Awards committee, or even write much of an article on them. I know Hindi cinema, I watch every Hindi release, I can tell you what I think was the best Hindi film/performance/script/etc. of the year. But there is so much else I haven’t seen.

      On Sat, Apr 14, 2018 at 6:46 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



      • I think you do yourself a disservice when you say you are not equipped to talk about non Hindi films. As a regular reader of your blog, I have discovered many a themes that I had missed from some of the oft watched films, after reading your reviews. I don’t remember reading a single one of your reviews(non-Hindi) that made me think ‘what’s she talking about’. If I were to speculate, your love for Hindi films is holding you back from branching out to other languages & truly appreciating them. It’s like you feel guilty of loving them, leaving behind your first-love. So you hurry back to your first love-jaded as it is. There’s also a question of personal preference to certain kind of movies & actors which I assume a critic should be able to sweep under the floor when reviewing?


        • I can review film by film, absolutely. It’s the judgement of every film in history, and being able to discuss someone’s growth as an actor compared to past performances, and knowing which director is known for what kind of film and so on, the context, that is what I don’t have outside of Hindi. Not because I necessarily “like” Hindi better, but because I’ve been watching those movies and learning about that industry for 13 years, and I’ve only started on other languages 3 years ago. There’s just no comparison in my knowledge base. Give me another 10 years and maybe I will catch up 🙂

          On Sat, Apr 14, 2018 at 8:16 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



          • Well it’s precisely in those non-review posts,particularly while talking about some of the current actors, directors & industry practices that the lover/loyalist makes an appearance over the industry watcher.The hesitance in critiquing some of the obvious failings in Bollywood & it’s actors is not apparent while discussing a Hindi film & it’s merits.


          • Then I will give you another thing to think about. Perhaps it is just my style not to criticize as harshly when I am writing outside of a particular film, doing more general discussions. And since I only write those posts on the Hindi film industry, it appears I am being soft on it. But if I felt capable of writing similar general posts on other industries, you would see I treated them in the same way. I am unlikely to take an overall critical view of any broad sweeping topic, but rather an overall positive view. My criticisms are saved for when I am discussing a very specific limited topic.

            On Sat, Apr 14, 2018 at 9:59 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



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