The President of India, Smt Droupadi Murmu presented the 69th National Film Awards in various categories in New Delhi today (October 17, 2023). She also conferred Dadasaheb Phalke Lifetime Achievement Award for the year 2021 on Ms Waheeda Rehman.
Speaking on the occasion, the President congratulated Ms Waheeda Rehman for receiving the Dadasaheb Phalke Award and said that she has reached the pinnacle of the film industry with her talent and personality. She has lived her personal life also with dignity, self-confidence, and originality. She chose many such films in which her role broke the barriers associated with women. She has set an example that women themselves should take the initiative for women’s empowerment.
The President noted that Pallavi Joshi, Alia Bhatt and Kriti Sanon, who have received awards for best acting, have played roles of empowered female characters in their films. She was happy to note that director Srishti Lakhera has depicted the fighting spirit of an 80-year-old woman in her award-winning film titled ‘Ek Tha Gaon’. She said that sympathetic and artistic portrayal of female characters would increase sensitivity and respect for women in society.
The President was happy to note that the films that received awards this year have depicted issues like climate change, girls’ trafficking, oppression of women, corruption and social exploitation. She also noted that good films have been made on various subjects like tribal communities’ love for nature and art, the establishment of the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi, fighting with indomitable spirit amidst adversities, the transformative power of education and special achievements in the field of art and culture.
The President said that film is not just an industry. It is not limited to merely business and entertainment. Films are the most effective medium to spread awareness and sensitivity. Meaningful films depict the achievements as well as the problems of the society and the country.
The President said that the film fraternity gives us a vivid introduction to the diverse reality of Indian society through their films. Cinema is both a document of our society and a medium to improve it. She said that cinema artists are change agents. She added that they provide information about the country and connect citizens.
The President said that Indian films should be the carrier of the country’s social diversity and rich cultural heritage. Such films would not only be beneficial for the country and society, but would also be commercially successful. She urged the film fraternity to do this experiment with greater resolve.
The President appreciated all the people associated with the award-winning films of the 69th National Film Awards for making impressive contributions to society and cinema. She expressed confidence that the film fraternity would continue to set new standards of global-level excellence and Indian films would play an important role in building a developed India.
Please click here to see the President’s Speech –