Opinion DC Comment 31 Mar 2016 Hindi bias at film a ...

Hindi bias at film awards

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published Mar 31, 2016, 1:47 am IST
Updated Mar 31, 2016, 1:47 am IST
All selection by jury in matters of art is bound to be subjective.
Union I & B Minister Arun Jaitley receiving the report for the 63rd National Film Awards from Vinod Ganatra, chairperson of the jury on Non Feature Films, in New Delhi. (Photo: PTI)
 Union I & B Minister Arun Jaitley receiving the report for the 63rd National Film Awards from Vinod Ganatra, chairperson of the jury on Non Feature Films, in New Delhi. (Photo: PTI)

The national film awards may as well have been named Bollywood awards. So carried away by box-office success and the reputation of big name actors did the jury seem in its choices that the film industry as a whole is piqued by the extreme subjectivity. All selection by jury in matters of art is bound to be subjective, but quality cinema has always been given to believe that awards are meant for acting or technical excellence more than how many tickets are sold. In choosing Baahubali, an elaborate extravaganza with special effects more than serious cinema, as the best film, the jury has betrayed its commercial mindset.

The same may have been the case with the selection as best actor of Amitabh Bachchan — a most accomplished thespian no doubt, but the jury seems to have been guided by the weight of past performances more than a character he played in a particular film in the year under review.

 

Critics point to more than a handful of quality portrayals in regional films, including by Kamal Haasan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui, which did not seem to cut ice with the judges. Many outside Bollywood, including winners of awards in regional cinema, were downright sarcastic about the way the awards went in most leading categories. While there can be no hard and fast rules, it does appear the jury was not judgmental enough in the aesthetic sense and may have gone with the flow of success. No jury has ever pleased everyone, but when they are judging national awards, the recipients should be from national cinema, not just big-bucks Bollywood.

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