In an elegant ceremony held on October 17, 2023, at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi, President Droupadi Murmu of India graced the occasion by presenting the 69th National Film Awards in a myriad of categories. This prestigious event also witnessed the conferral of the coveted Dadasaheb Phalke Lifetime Achievement Award for the year 2021 upon the esteemed Ms. Waheeda Rehman.
The 69th National Film Awards
The President extended warm congratulations to Ms. Waheeda Rehman for her remarkable achievement in receiving the Dadasaheb Phalke Award. In her address, she lauded Ms. Rehman for ascending to the pinnacle of the film industry through her exceptional talent and charismatic personality. She highlighted that not only has Ms. Rehman made an indelible mark in cinema but has also conducted her personal life with a profound sense of dignity, self-confidence, and originality.
President Murmu acknowledged Ms. Rehman’s choice of roles in films that broke barriers associated with women, and she commended her as an exemplary figure advocating for women’s empowerment. The President emphasized the significance of women taking the initiative in fostering empowerment.
Furthermore, the President praised the recipients of awards for Best Acting, including Pallavi Joshi, Alia Bhatt, and Kriti Sanon, for portraying empowered female characters in their respective films. President Murmu expressed her satisfaction in observing director Srishti Lakhera’s cinematic depiction of an 80-year-old woman’s fighting spirit in her award-winning film titled ‘Ek Tha Gaon.’ She underscored the importance of sensitive and artistic portrayals of female characters in films, as they contribute to heightened awareness and respect for women in society.
The President’s address conveyed her appreciation for the wide-ranging themes explored in the films that received accolades this year. Notably, these films delved into critical issues such as climate change, girls’ trafficking, oppression of women, corruption, and social exploitation. Additionally, she acknowledged the quality of films covering diverse subjects, including the love of tribal communities for nature and art, the embodiment of Mahatma Gandhi’s ideals, resilience in the face of adversity, the transformative power of education, and exceptional achievements in the realm of art and culture.
President Murmu emphasized that the film industry extends far beyond mere commerce and entertainment at the National Film Awards. Films, she stated, serve as a potent medium for fostering awareness and sensitivity. They effectively portray both the triumphs and challenges faced by society and the nation, making them indispensable in raising societal consciousness.
The President firmly asserted that cinema is not confined to the entertainment industry; it is a reflection of our society and a platform for its betterment. She underscored the transformative role of cinema artists as agents of change, noting that they provide a window into the nation’s diverse realities and connect its citizens.
The President called upon Indian films to serve as bearers of the nation’s rich cultural heritage and social diversity. Films with such a focus would not only benefit the country and society but could also enjoy commercial success. She encouraged the film industry to undertake this endeavor with unwavering commitment.
In her concluding remarks, President Droupadi Murmu conveyed her heartfelt appreciation for all those associated with the award-winning films at the 69th National Film Awards. She expressed her unwavering confidence in the film industry’s ability to continue setting new global standards of excellence, with Indian cinema playing a pivotal role in the development of a prosperous and culturally rich India.
President Murmu extended her congratulations to the recipients of the Best Acting awards, including Alia Bhatt, Kriti Sanon at the National Film Awards.