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44th National Film Awards

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

44th National Film Awards
Awarded forBest of Indian cinema in 1996
Awarded byShankar Dayal Sharma
(President of India)
Presented byDirectorate of Film Festivals
Announced on6 May 1997 (1997-05-06)
Presented onJuly 1997 (1997-07)
Best Feature FilmLal Darja
Best Non-Feature FilmSham's Vision
Best BookThe Eye of the Serpent
Best Film CriticM. K. Raghavendra
Dadasaheb Phalke AwardSivaji Ganesan
Most awardsMinsara Kanavu (4)

The 44th National Film Awards, presented by Directorate of Film Festivals, the organisation set up by Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, India to felicitate the best of Indian Cinema released in the year 1996.[1][2] The awards were announced on 6 May 1997,[3] and presented in July.


Awards were divided into feature films, non-feature films and books written on Indian cinema.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Introduced in 1969, the Dadasaheb Phalke Award is the highest award given to recognise the contributions of film personalities towards the development of Indian cinema and for distinguished contributions to the medium, its growth and promotion.[4]

Name of Award Awardee(s) Awarded As Awards
Dadasaheb Phalke Award Sivaji Ganesan[5] Actor Swarna Kamal, 1,00,000 and a Shawl

Feature Films

Feature films were awarded at All India as well as regional level. For 44th National Film Awards, a Bengali film, Lal Darja won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film, whereas a Tamil film, Minsara Kanavu won the maximum number of awards (4). Following were the awards given in each category:[1][2]


A committee headed by T. Subbarami Reddy was appointed to evaluate the feature films awards. Following were the jury members:[1][2]

All India Award

Following were the awards given:[1][2]

Golden Lotus Award

Official Name: Swarna Kamal[1][2]

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 Feature Film Lal Darja Bengali Producer: Chitrani Lahiri
Director: Buddhadeb Dasgupta
50,000/- Each
Citation: For its poetic presentation and exploration of complexities of human relationship in a contemporary urban milieu.
Best Debut Film of a Director Rag Birag Assamese Producer: Bhabhen Baruah and Khanin Baruah
Director: Bidyut Chakraborty
25,000/- Each
Citation: For director's sensitivity in portraying complex human psyche of individual character's in the film.
Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment Maachis Hindi Producer: R. V. Pandit
Director: Gulzar
40,000/- Each
Citation: For powerful depiction of Punjab situation, exploring the trauma, conflict and tragedy of the youth in Punjab.
Best Children's Film Damu Bengali Producer: Art Films
Director: Raja Sen
30,000/- Each
Citation: For charming story of a simpleton who keeps his word given to a child.
Best Direction Kadhal Kottai Tamil Agathiyan 50,000/-
Citation: For a brilliantly knit plot, maintaining the tempo and rhythms of an unusual love story till end.
Silver Lotus Award

Official Name: Rajat Kamal[1][2]

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 Kanakkinavu Malayalam Producer: P. V. Gangadharan
Director: Sibi Malayil
30,000/- Each
Citation: For its brilliant and bold approach to National Integration and the futility of division in the name of religion.
Best Film on Family Welfare Latthi Bengali Producer: Robin Agarwal
Director: Prabhat Roy
30,000/- Each
Citation: For focusing on the plight of the seniors in the society and how a determined group of pensioners transform the power relations in a family, in a wholesome manner.
Best Film on Other Social Issues Tamanna Hindi Producer: Pooja Bhatt
Director: Mahesh Bhatt
30,000/- Each
Citation: For depicting the selfless dedication and love of eunuchs for an abandoned child.
Best Actor Indian Tamil Kamal Haasan 10,000/-
Citation: For his double role in the film. His remarkable range in the entire diverse roles shows his excellent calibre as an actor.
Best Actress Maachis Hindi Tabu 10,000/-
Citation: For sensitive portrayal of a woman trapped in the vortex of conflicts.
Best Supporting Actor Agni Sakshi Hindi Nana Patekar 10,000/-
Citation: For his brilliant performance as an obsessed husband.
Best Supporting Actress Sardari Begum Urdu Rajeshwari Sachdev 10,000/-
Citation: For her role in the film, in which she depicts the aspirations and agony of a lonely teenage girl.
Best Child Artist Little Soldiers Telugu Kavya 5,000/- Each
Citation: For her excellent performance.
Desadanam Malayalam Kumar
Citation: For his excellent performance.
Best Male Playback Singer Minsara Kanavu
("Thanga Thamarai")
Tamil S. P. Balasubrahmanyam 10,000/-
Citation: For his brilliant rendering of the song.
Best Female Playback Singer Minsara Kanavu
("Mana Madurai")
Tamil K. S. Chithra 10,000/-
Citation: For her soulful rendering of the song.
Best Cinematography Adajya
Rag Birag
Assamese Cameraman: Mrinal Kanti Das
Laboratory Processing: Prasad Film Laboratories
10,000/- Each
Citation: For his versatile, imaginative and superb combinations and mood lighting.
Best Screenplay Kadhal Kottai Tamil Agathiyan 10,000/-
Citation: For tightly knit and smooth flowing plot with excellent dialogues and razor-sharp tuning.
Best Audiography Desadanam Malayalam Krishnan Unni 10,000/-
Citation: For excellent use and blending of ambient sound with superb effects, appropriate to the spirit depicted in the film.
Best Editing Rag Birag Assamese A. Sreekar Prasad 10,000/-
Citation: For slickly editing with imagination, setting the pace and flow of the story.
Best Art Direction Indian Tamil Thotta Tharani 10,000/-
Citation: For erection of sets and selection of locations perfectly retaining the period depicted in the story and enhancing the huge canvas of the film.
Best Costume Design Kulam Malayalam M. Dandapani 10,000/-
Citation: For creating beautiful costumes that are authentic to the period depicted in the film.
Best Music Direction Minsara Kanavu Tamil A. R. Rahman 10,000/-
Citation: For innovative compositions breaking all traditions, entering into new era.
Best Lyrics Saaz Hindi Javed Akhtar 10,000/-
Citation: For its poetic and traditional expression.
Best Special Effects Indian Tamil S. T. Venki 10,000/-
Citation: For recreation of the period images and also for combining new footage with stock footage.
Best Choreography Minsara Kanavu
("Vennilavae Vennilavae" and "Strawberry Kannae")
Tamil Prabhu Deva 10,000/-
Citation: For sensual body language is par excellence and appropriate to unique choreographic patterns.
Special Jury Award Daayraa Hindi Amol Palekar (Director) 12,500/- Each
Citation: For the sensitive handling of a challenging theme laying bare the agony and courage of a neglected and marginalised section of our society.
Sardari Begum Urdu Kirron Kher (Actress)
Citation: For superb depiction of a dynamic person who breaks shackles of society and achieves excellence in her chosen profession.
Special Mention Sanghat Bengali Dolon Roy (Actress) Certificate Only
Citation: For her performance in the film.
Adajya Assamese Bhagirathee (Actress)
Citation: For her performance in Durga's role in the film.

Regional Awards

The award is given to best film in the regional languages in India.[1][2]

Name of Award Name of Film Awardee(s) Cash Prize
Best Feature Film in Assamese Adajya Producer: Nayan Prasad
Director: Santwana Bardoloi
20,000/- Each
Citation: For a subtle and sensitive exploration of loneliness trauma and coverage of 3 widows caught in the complex web of ritualistic beliefs.
Best Feature Film in Bengali Sanghat Producer: Pinaki Chaudhuri
Director: Pinaki Chaudhuri
20,000/- Each
Citation: For effectively bringing out the trials and tribulations faced by working women in contemporary society.
Best Feature Film in Hindi Gudia Producer: Amit Khanna and Mahesh Bhatt
Director: Gautam Ghose
20,000/- Each
Citation: For an unusual exploration into the lives of traditional entertainers and the entwined relationships between the animate and inanimate players that develop into an obsession.
Best Feature Film in Kannada America! America!! Producer: G. Nandakumar
Director: Nagathihalli Chandrashekhar
20,000/- Each
Citation: For mature handling of a deftly written script set in USA and India holding up love for one's own country and cultural values.
Best Feature Film in Malayalam Desadanam Producer: Jayaraj
Director: Jayaraj
20,000/- Each
Citation: For depicting in an excellent manner the conflicts between love, traditional bonds and duties, arising out of religious beliefs.
Best Feature Film in Marathi Rao Saheb Producer: K. B. Joshi and Ravindra Surve
Director: Sanjay Surkar
20,000/- Each
Citation: For depicting the struggle for power of ambitious politicians in a most effective manner.
Best Feature Film in Oriya Shunya Swaroopa Producer: Alaya Kumar Mohanty
Director: Himanshu Sekhar Khatua
20,000/- Each
Citation: For a beautifully photographed film depicting the conflicts of a layman floundering in the world of sanyasias.
Best Feature Film in Tamil Kadhal Kottai Producer: D. Pandian
Director: Agaththian
20,000/- Each
Citation: For a charming love story with unusual twists and turns of fate told in an interesting manner with good production values.
Best Feature Film in Telugu Ninne Pelladutha Producer: Akkineni Nagarjuna
Director: Krishna Vamsi
20,000/- Each
Citation: For the innovative way in which a family drama with the contemporary theme is handled.
Best Feature Film in Urdu Sardari Begum Producer: Amit Khanna and Mahesh Bhatt
Director: Shyam Benegal
20,000/- Each
Citation: For excellent recreation of an era and showing dedication of an artist to music that defies all orthodox and conservative values.

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.


A committee headed by N. S. Thapa was appointed to evaluate the non-feature films awards. Following were the jury members:[1][2]

Golden Lotus Award

Official Name: Swarna Kamal[1][2]

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 Sham's Vision English Producer: Manu Grover
Director: Shaji N. Karun
20,000/- Each
Citation: For its moving portrayal of an artist's rich inner vision which lights his outer world of darkness.

Silver Lotus Award

Official Name: Rajat Kamal[1][2]

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 Yeh Woh Sahar To Nahin Hindi Producer: Film and Television Institute of India
Director: Sudhakar Rao
10,000/- Each
Citation: For its imaginative use of sound and visuals to capture the undercurrents of human response to outer tensions.
Best Biographical Film Hastir Kanya Assamese Producer: Digbijay Medhi
Director: Prabin Hazarika
10,000/- Each
Citation: For exploring the world of Goalpariya folk music through the life of singer Pratima Borooah Pandey of Gauripur, Assam.
Best Arts / Cultural Film Nauka Charitramu English Producer: Saroj Satyanarayan
Director: Saroj Satyanarayan
10,000/- Each
Citation: For its innovative cinematic portrayal of three women musicians of Carnatic tradition.
Best Film on Social Issues Silent Screams: A Village Chronicle English Producer: Jose Sebastián
Director: O. K. Johnny
10,000/- Each
Citation: For highlighting with sensitivity and sincerity, the agony of the tribal woman of Thrinelli, Kerala.
Best Educational / Motivational / Instructional Film Rabia Chalikkunnu Malayalam Producer: Abraham Benhur
Director: Ali Akbar
10,000/- Each
Citation: For its credible and inspiring portrayal of a young girl who overcomes her physical and social disabilities and becomes a role model for society.
Best Investigative Film N. M. No. 309 Bhiwandi Tragedy English Producer: Yash Chowdhary
Director: V. Packiri Swamy
10,000/- Each
Citation: For the exploration of the issue of health hazards faced by migrant industrial workers.
Best Animation Film The Lost Horizon Only music Producer: Arun Gongade
Director: Arun Gongade
Animator: Arun Gongade
10,000/- Each
Citation: For its creative synthesis of animation with Warli folk art in conveying a vital environmental message.
Best Short Fiction Film Vidiyalai Nokki Tamil Producer: F and T, V. T. I. N. Chennai
Director: P. Venkatesh
10,000/- Each
Citation: For making an eloquent statement on the gift of sight.
Athmeeyam Malayalam Producer: Film and Television Institute of India
Director: Nandakumar Kavil
Citation: For presenting a traditional artist's inner rebellion against the denial of his creative identity.
Best Film on Family Welfare Bhit Bengali Producer: Films Division and K. R. G. Films
Director: Glbahar Singh
10,000/- Each
Citation: For its credible depiction of a rural health worker's efforts in transforming her community.
Best Cinematography Sham's Vision English Cameraman: Hari Nair
Laboratory Processing: Prasad Film Lab
10,000/- Each
Citation: For his brilliant use of light and shade, to bring to life even inanimate objects in the film.
Best Audiography Tat Tvam Asi Hindi and English Nihar R. Samal 10,000/-
Citation: For his restrained, balanced and multi-layered soundtrack.
Best Editing Nauka Charitramu English A. Sreekar Prasad 10,000/-
Citation: For knitting together harmoniously into an unbroken visual flow in the film.
Special Jury Award Dhatu Jhar '96 Bengali Nilotpal Majumdar (Producer, Director and Cinematographer) 10,000/-
Citation: For his bold and experimental exploration of the dilemma between discovery and destruction.

Best Writing on Cinema

The awards aim at encouraging study and appreciation of cinema as an art form and dissemination of information and critical appreciation of this art-form through publication of books, articles, reviews etc.


A committee headed by Khalid Mohamed was appointed to evaluate the writing on Indian cinema. Following were the jury members:[1][2]

Golden Lotus Award

Official Name: Swarna Kamal[1][2]

All the awardees are awarded with 'Golden Lotus Award (Swarna Kamal)' and cash prize.

Name of Award Name of Book Language Awardee(s) Cash Prize
Best Book on Cinema The Eye of the Serpent English Author: S. Theodore Baskaran
Publisher: East West Books Pvt. Ltd.
15,000/- Each
Citation: For the methodically researched books on Tamil films which informs and enlightens the reader about one of the most prolific cinemas of our country which has kept re-defining itself over the decades.
Best Film Critic M. K. Raghavendra 15,000/-
Citation: For his provocative and iconoclastic writing, which inspires debate and discussion, so rare in film criticism today.

Awards not given

Following were the awards not given as no film was found to be suitable for the award:[1][2]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "44th National Film Awards". International Film Festival of India. Archived from the original on 5 May 2014. Retrieved 9 January 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "44th National Film Awards (PDF)" (PDF). Directorate of Film Festivals. Retrieved 9 January 2012.
  3. ^ "Kamal Hasan, Tabu, Gulzar bag national film awards". 6 May 1997. Retrieved 2 May 2017.
  4. ^ "17th National Film Awards" (PDF). Directorate of Film Festivals. p. 38. Retrieved 12 April 2013.
  5. ^ "Dadasaheb Phalke Award Past Recipients". Directorate of Film Festivals. Retrieved 5 March 2012.

External links

This page was last edited on 10 September 2019, at 21:56
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