New system for film selection for National awards

Revamping the selection scheme, it has decided to have a regional panel for each of the four zones comprising five members who would select the entries for the central jury.
The award function is expected to be organised on October 20.

"The jury for the respective regions will recommend six movies or 30 per cent of the entries whichever is higher for the central panel," said S M Khan, director, Directorate of Film Festivals.

Talking to reporters here, he said the restructuring process was carried out following a recommendation by an expert committee headed by eminent filmmaker Shyam Benegal for upgrading of the National Film Awards.

"The move will reduce pressure of the central panel who had to sit for more than 11-12 hours a day during the selection process," he said.

Five regional panels have been constituted for selecting the films. While the North, West and East zone will have one panel each, the South zone will have two panels "due to the large number of entries received from this zone", Khan said.

Each of the regional panel will comprise a chairperson and one member (both of whom would be from outside the zone) and three members from within the zone, he said, adding, the screening of the regional panel as well as the central jury would be held here.

The 'right to recall' system will also be introduced for the first time under which a film not selected by regional panel can be recalled by the central panel, Khan said.

The central jury would comprise chairperson plus 10 members, of whom five would be the chairperson of the five regional juries.

Khan said the members would have to give a declaration that none of the actors in the movies are related to them.

The selection process is expected to be completed by September 15.
New categories like 'background score', 'location sound recordist and sound designer' and best 'screenplay and dialogues' have been introduced from this year. On the other hand, the best film on 'family welfare' category has been discontinued.

Raising the prize money, the best non-feature film will received a cash prize of Rs 1.50 lakh while the best debut non-feature film will win a prize money of Rs 75,000. The award for the best feature film is Rs 2.50 lakh.

Special jury award for non-feature film will be Rs 1 lakh and for feature film it will be Rs 2 lakh.

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