Entertainment

Amid Controversy, 65th National Film Awards Presented At Vigyan Bhawan

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| May 3 , 2018 , 19:26 IST

The 65th National Film Awards were presented in a ceremony held at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi on Thursday. The event was wrapped in controversy as 70 awardees had written a letter to the DG of Film Festivals threatening to boycott the ceremony, miffed at the fact that only 11 of the awardees were to receive the awards from the President while the rest were to be felicitated by Smriti Irani and Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore since the President had accorded only 1 hour for the ceremony.

Also Read: Over 70 National Film Award Winners To Skip Event, As President Kovind To Present Only 11 Awards

Following criticism, the office of President gave a clarification stating that the President attends all award functions for a maximum one hour and this was conveyed to the Information and Broadcasting Ministry.

President’s Press Secretary Ashok Malik said, “President attends all award functions and convocations for a maximum of one hour. This has been the protocol since he took office. It was conveyed to Information and Broadcasting Ministry several weeks ago and the ministry knew this all along. Rashtrapati Bhavan is surprised by the 11th-hour questions that have been raised.”

The award ceremony began at Vigyan Bhawan where the two ministers gave out awards till the arrival of the President.

Veteran actor Sridevi, who passed away recently was honoured with the Best Actress award for her performance in 'Mom'. Her husband Boney Kapoor and daughters Janhavi and Khushi received the award from the President.

Veteran actor Vinod Khanna has been named for the Dadasaheb Phalke Award for his lifetime contribution. His wife Kavita Khanna and son Akshaye Khanna received the award. A short video on Vinod Khanna’s life and career with commentary from Amitabh Bachchan, Gulzar, JP Dutta, Hema Malini and his wife Kavita was also shown at the ceremony.

Honouring the two legends, President Ram Nath Kovind said, “We miss them today and we will miss them forever. Their films like Lamhe and Mere Apne captured not only the box office but also the minds of the audience. When Vinod Khanna and Sridevi passed away, for millions of film lovers the loss seemed personal. Their fans and followers could be found all over the country, in every state and region. This is the beauty of cinema. Our film industry unites us as few others do,” he said.