One of the main significant awards in the history of Indian cinema started in 1954. The awards are given to best-featured films and short films in the capital city Delhi by the prime minister of India. Every year, government selects a jury panel which further declares a winner in the entries provided to them followed by an inaugural ceremony of national film festival so that the public can view the winning movies. The jury selects films from all the regions of India.
The 21st national awards were presented in the year of 1974 to award the best movie released in 1973. The then prime minister of India, Indira Gandhi gave the awards to the winning entries. These awards were important for the history as it brought up revolutionary changes in the system. Before 1974 there were state committees who would choose the best movie from their region and then they forward it to the central committee. The process was found stretched and tiring, so they decided to rather divide the movies in fictional and short films than state wise. Their decision not only reduced the time taken but also gave the short films a fair chance to compete with.
Directorate of film festivals selects the Jury members but neither they nor government influences the jury to choose a winner. The government provides the member's of the handbook of strict rules called national film award regulations. This book consists of the method and the marks given to each movie on a definite basis, which include the makers or especially the director of the film to be an Indian. The book not only has the regulations about which film to be selected but also the set of laws that declare which cannot.
Jury Members selected in 1974 for Feature Films were: Romesh Thapar who was the Chairperson, Subodh Mukherjee, U. Visweswar Raw, Asim Paul, FirozeRangoonwalla, Dina Pathak, B. V. Karanth, T. S. Pillai, M. Yunus Dehlvi, Ashis Burman, T. K. Mahadevan, J. Swaminathan, Dileep Padgaonkar, K. R. K. Menon, Usha Bhagat, Illindula Saraswathi Devi, M. Bhaktavatsala, and Sai Paranjpe, Teji Bachchan, IsmatChughtai, O. V. Vijayan, Tarun Majumdar, Ananta Patnaik.
Jury Members: Short Films S. K. Kooka who was the Chairperson, Komal Kothari, Balwant Gargi, Nalni Soni, The awards were presented to the following: Dadasaheb Phalke Award was given to the actress Sulochana with RS 20,000 as an award. Best feature film award was given to the Malayalam film Nirmalyam. Second Best feature film award was given to Kannada film Kaadu.
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