The National Film Awards are considered as one of the country’s oldest and most prestigious awards in India. The first National Award was handed out in the year 1954. The awards were introduced to honor and encourage the films directed across the borders of the country also featuring Indian art and culture. From 1973, the award ceremonies are administrated by the Indian government’s Directorate of Film Festivals. Generally, every year the ceremony is held in New Delhi and the winners are awarded by the President of India. The event is followed by the induction of the National Film Festival, where the films (award-winning) are screened for the public.

The National Film Awards are given under two main categories, namely; Feature Films and Non-Feature Films. Under the feature film category the winners are selected by a jury which consists of 13 members and whereas for non feature film category the winners are selected by a jury which consists 5 members. The Directorate of Film Festivals in India appoints the jury to select the winning entry every year. It is the duty of the jury to follow rigid criteria before considering a film to the winning entry list. All the films directed across the country are categorized into either feature or non-feature awards for the year. A list of rules for the selection of winning entry is presented in the form of a document known as National Film Award Regulations. The criterion for the selection contains several clauses. Given below are few criterions followed by the national jury while selecting the winning list.

  • According to the criteria, a film has to be certified between January 1 and December 31 by the Central Board of Film Certification. Only then is the film eligible to enter the competition.
  • Films that are entering into the competition must be produced in India. If the film is co-produced by a foreign entity, then there are six other conditions that have to be fulfilled. After meeting all the conditions, a film is qualified for the winning entry list.
  • Film entering the competition should be directed by an Indian. This is one of the major requirements for the entry of the film in the competition.