Adoor slams national film awards selection

Filmmaker Adoor Gopalakrishnan has written to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting urging it to ensure that the jury to select films for the national awards this year is headed by a filmmaker of eminence who is familiar with modern trends in cinema, and the jury as a whole instils a feeling of fairness in the minds of the professionals involved.

In a letter addressed to I&B Secretary Ajay Mittal, released for publication here on Monday, Mr. Gopalakrishnan urged him to treat selection of the jury chairman and members seriously and stop an ‘incompetent jury from sitting to judge our work’.

The national awards were conceived as a means to select and award films for their thematic relevance, social commitment, original approach, technical excellence and above all aesthetic brilliance.

“Unfortunately, when the national awards for 2015 were announced, all the major prizes, including that for the best film and the best director, went to outright commercial films, undermining the very purpose for which they were instituted,” he said.

The problem, the acclaimed filmmamker said, lay in the appointment of the jury. It was composed mostly of people who had little or nothing to do with meaningful cinema either as professional practitioners or as discerning critics and scholars. The appointment of the jury seemed to have been done casually, not realising how deeply it would demoralise the genuine and committed practitioners in the profession.

The story was repeated this time when it came to the selection of films to the Indian Panorama of IFFI 2016.

‘Shocking choices’

“Everyone in the profession was shocked by the kind of selection that was made. Anything genuine, original and artistic was rejected with a vengeance. The naïve, gaudy and incongruous got in. If one finds a reasonably good film in the selection it should have got in by mistake. Critics attending the Mumbai, Kolkata and Kerala festivals were heard saying that the rejections in Goa would make a good festival of the best of Indian cinema in the year 2016,” he said.

Mr. Gopalakrishnan contended that it was very important that the names of nominees, as well as their qualification to be on the jury, were made public before they sit for selecting films.

“Keeping their names from public knowledge is a sure way to infiltrate wrong people into such bodies,” he said.

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Printable version | Oct 24, 2020 8:00:47 AM |

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