67th National Film Awards ceremony on hold due to coronavirus

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As the lockdown in India continues, it’s posing many issues for the TV and film industry, and it seems it will have a ripple effect even after the lockdown is lifted. As well as films not being able to release on the big screen or shoots to continue, major events have been postponed too including the National Film Awards that takes place annually on 3rd May.

According to Hindustan Times, plans for organising a jury were about to take place just before the lockdown. Filmmaker Rahul Rawail, who was the head of Jury of National Film Awards last year, was reported explaining, “The jury itself has not been assembled as yet. And we can’t blame the government, as they are trying to do their best and their priorities are much bigger right now. They can’t do anything until the lockdown is lifted completely.”

The ceremony that celebrates outstanding contributions from the industry has always taken place on that date ever since 2012, to commemorate the release of India’s first feature-film Dadasaheb Phalke’s ‘Raja Harishchandra’ (1913). The ceremony was unable to take place on 3rd May last year due to the elections and the winners were announced later in August.

However, the lockdown will not only affect this year’s ceremony. Rawail also explained how due to the lack of releases this year, especially in the film industry, it would not be right to hold a ceremony at all next year either. “There are no film festivals happening really around the world… I think this year has practically gone off from the calendar as far as the film and TV industry goes. The government is as worried as film people are, but their priorities are different, and (the focus is on) getting things back on track (nationally)… We can’t expect the government to stop everything to look after films,” he explained.

It seems 2021 will be an extremely busy year for the industry, where everyone may be trying to make up for the lost time.

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