The Filmfare Awards are given every year by India’s largest media company, The Times Group, to pay tribute to both creative and technical transcendence of professionals in the Hindi film industry. This event is known to be one of the oldest and was first introduced in year 1954; the same year the National Film Awards
was also introduced. Originally, it is known as the The Clares or Clare Awards, which refers to the late Clare Mendonca, a critic in The Times of India. In year 1956, a double voting system was established and using this system, the voting in Filmfare Awards came from the public and the experts committee.
The readers of the Filmfare magazine voted to choose the winners and there are more than 20,000 readers around India who joined the polls. The winners with the popular votes received their trophies. The first Filmfare Awards was held at Mumbai’s Metro Theatre on March 21, 1954. During this time, only five awards including the Best Director, Best Film, Best Actor, Best Actress and the Best Music Director Awards were presented. The 1953 Hindi film, Do Bigha Zamin
won the very first Best Film award; Bimal Roy
, the director of this film won the very first Best Director Award; Dilip Kumar
got the Best Actor award for the film Daag; poet and actress Meena Kumari
won the Best Actress award for her brilliant performance in the 1952 Hindi film, Baiju Bawra; Naushad Ali
won the Best Music Director for the same film.
The statuette that was given to the winners depicts a woman whom they referred to as “The Black Lady” or “The Lady in Black”. It was originally designed by N. G. Pansare and was supervised by Walter Langhammer, the art director of Times of India. It is made up of bronze, weight around 5 kilograms and stands 46.5 cm. The Award Gallery manufactured this trophy and to celebrate the 25th and 50th year of the awards, the trophy will be made up of silver and gold respectively.
Before the actual event starts, there is also a Red Carpet
segment where actors, actresses, singers, composers, directors, producers and everyone involved in the Indian cinema were introduced. This is also the best time for all the actors and actresses to make a cat walk into the carpet and show their gowns and dresses. The host of the event will also ask questions to the celebrities regarding their performances or entries and who they think deserves to win the Black Lady.
American actor, Gregory Peck
was invited to this special event to become the guest of honour; however, he didn’t make it due to his delayed flight from Colombo. He attended the banquet the following night at the Wellington Gymkhana Club in Mumbai.
Because of too many award ceremonies that arose in the Indian film industry, people got confuse on which one is real and who are giving fair decisions. The Filmfare Awards faces tough controversies after the accusations of being biased on selecting, nominating and presenting the awards and many believed that winners are not awarded based on excellence. However, these are just a normal trend for such fabulous awarding events to be questioned on the same issues. The Filmfare Awards continued to recognize the ‘Excellency’ of the film industry and accomplished something new each year.