Vice President Venkaiah Naidu greets winners of the 66th National Film Awards in Delhi on Monday. (Express photo by Prem Nath Pandey)
Vice President Venkaiah Naidu on Monday morning presented the National Film Awards, with Bollywood actors Vicky Kaushal, Ayushmann Khurrana and Tamil actor Keerthy Suresh receiving top honours.
Actor Amitabh Bachchan, who was supposed to receive the Dadasaheb Phalke Award at the ceremony, skipped the event citing ill health. The 77-year-old will now be honoured by President Ram Nath Kovind on December 29 at Rashtrapati Bhavan, during a high-tea hosted by the President for the winners, announced Union Information & Broadcasting minister Prakash Javadekar.
"The feature films this year are as much about emotion as about intelligence; we have films that break stereotypes and attack superstitions sensitively," Naidu said during his address. He also praised non-feature films for dealing with a wide range of subjects such as female infanticide, human trafficking and ethics of adoption.
"Filmmakers must make conscious effort to ensure that dialogues, depiction of characters and costumes reflect India’s culture, customs, practices and traditions. Cinema should also help in strengthening family systems," the Vice President added.
Speaking at the ceremony, Prakash Javadekar said, "I always believed that cinema is a soft power of a strong India. .. The culture and art of a country is its power and we need to present this power to the whole world."