This year, ‘Pink’ won the National Award for the ‘Best Film on Social Issues’ in the feature films category  Post the Priyadarshan-Hansal Mehta spat on what qualifies as a National Award-winning ‘fantastic social issue’, DT explores the topics that tend to be awarded in the ‘Best Film on Social Issues’ category.  After the winners of the 64th National Awards were announced recently, the jury head of the feature film section, filmmaker Priyadarshan, said that the regional films are ‘themed around fantastic social issues’, because of which they won National Awards. Reacting to the statement, Hansal Mehta, whose film on the rights of the LGBTQ community, ‘Aligarh’, did not get any recognition in the awards, said that it rankles him that LGBTQ rights do not qualify as ‘fantastic’ social issue according to Priyadarshan.  A look at past winners in the social issues category of the National Awards shows that women’s empowerment or women-centric films seem to be an all-time favourite with the jury. And ‘Pink’ winning the award this year is no rarity.  The ‘Best Film on Social Issues’ award is given in two sections – feature films and non-feature films. In the non-feature films section, the award has been given to women-centric films or documentaries about women achievers in the last few years. However, in the feature films section, films that awarded over the years have focused on a variety of issues, like how hartals and marches curtail citizens’ freedom of movement, dwarfism, religious conversions and alcoholism.  Repeat ‘women’s empowerment’ 10 times a day like a prayer: Shoojit Sircar
‘Pink’ was a story set in Delhi, which created waves across the country and the director and producers of the film say that it might be local in its storyline but is global in its appeal. And they believe that probably that’s the reason why it got the National Award for the best film on social issues category. Shoojit Sircar said, “While shooting the film our cast and crew broke down a number of times. When we saw the film for the first time after editing, we realized that it will be remembered, people may like it or not but they won’t be able to ignore Pink. But a National Award in this category was not expected.”  The Times of India : 11th. Apr,17


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