24 members of film fraternity return awards

Filmmakers (from left) P.M. Satheesh, Madhusree Datta, Saeed Mirza (FTII, former director), Kundan Shah, Irene Dhar Malik and Bina Elias on behalf of Rafeeq Elias show their awards at a press conference in Mumbai. Photo: Prashant Nakwe  

Twenty four members of India’s film fraternity, including senior filmmakers like Saeed Mirza, Kundan Shah and cinematographer Virendra Saini, are returning their national awards on Thursday, registering their protests on a plethora of issues.

"We, the undersigned, return our National Awards, and hope that this symbolic gesture urges you to pay attention to our fears, that the warp and weft of our robust democracy might be coming apart in the current atmosphere," said a statement from the filmmakers.

The list also includes writer Arundhati Roy, who received the award for the best screenplay in 1988 for In Which Annie Gives it Those Ones. Other stalwarts like Ajay Raina, cinematographers Ranjan Palit and Manoj Lobo, activist-film makers like Tapan Bose, Sanjay Kak, Madhusree Dutta and Pradip Krishen also featured in the list. Many of them have returned more than one awards.

The other members of the film fraternity who have decided to return their awards are Vivek Sachidanand and P.M. Satheesh for best audiography, Irene Dhar Malik for best editing, Satya Raj Nagpaul for cinematography and Shriprakash for best film on social issues.

Sudhakar Reddy Yakkanti returned the Special Jury Award for cinematography, while Rafeeq Ellias for best ethnographic film. Bengali filmmaker Amitabha Chakravarty and Maithil filmmaker Tarun Bharitiya has also decided to return his award. None of the actors featured in the list.

Documentary maker Anwar Jamal, noted cinematographers Sudhir Palsane and Abhimanyu Dange and film maker Manoj Nitharwal also featured in the list.

Increasing intolerance on part of the Government to listen to the voices of the people, including the students and the members of various communities, has been cited as the main reasons for returning the awards. The filmmakers are expected to attend a press conference in Delhi and Mumbai later in the day to announce their decision to return the awards. They are expected to detail their reasons for returning the awards. 

Full list of filmmakers returning awards

1. Arundhati Roy

9. Sanjay Kak

17. Rafeeq Ellias

2. Saeed Mirza

10. Madhusree Dutta

18. Sudhakar Reddy Yakkanti

3. Kundan Shah

11. Pradip Krishen

19. Anwar Jamal

4. Virendra Saini

12. Shriprakash

20. Sudheer Palsane

5. Ajay Raina

13. Vivek Sachidanand

21. Ajay Raina

6. Ranjan Palit

14. P.M. Satheesh

22. Manoj Nitharwal

7. Manoj Lobo

15. Tarun Bharitiya

23. Irene Dhar Malik

8. Tapan Bose

16. Amitabha Chakravarty

24. Satya Raj Nagpaul

>Full statements of filmmakers returning awards

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Printable version | Apr 17, 2021 12:11:08 PM |

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