Priyadarshan, the chairperson of the jury of 64th National Awards, defended Akshay Kumar’s win of the Best Actor award. The filmmaker, who has worked with Akshay in films like Hera Pheri, Bhool Bhulaiyya and Khatta Meetha, has said that it is unfair for people to question Akshay’s win for his movie Rustom. He also said there were valid reasons why movies like Dangal and Aligarh, did not get awards.
While speaking to a Mumbai mirror, Priyadarshan was asked why Aamir Khan was not given an award for Dangal, considering the fact that he earned many popular awards. To this, the filmmaker said that Aamir never bothered to attend award functions. He said when Taare Zameen Par won the National Film Award for Best Film on Family Welfare in 2008, he didn’t accept the award personally.
“So, why spoil it for some other actor who stood as good a chance of winning the award,” argued Priyadarshan.
When the filmmaker was asked why Hansal Mehta’s critically acclaimed film Aligarh did not get any mention, Priyadarshan said it was because it didn’t make the cut. He said, “Aligarh did not make it to the final list of 89 films, which the jury saw. That list had mostly regional films many of which were really good.”
Priyadarshan added there were many regional movies which were not only entertaining but also touched relevant social issues. He also said that many regional movies were far better than what Bollywood made.
Defending Akshay Kumar’s win, Priyadarshan said 28 jury members decided he should win. “How can you question the decision of so many people? Ramesh Sippy headed the jury last year. When he gave Best Actor to Amitabh Bachchan for Piku why didn’t anyone question him?,” Priyadarshan said.
When the filmmaker was reminded that his appointment as jury head was questioned, he said even Satyajit Ray’s elevation to this post met the same fate.
With Priyadarshan speaking about the matter, we wonder if critics of National film awards would buy this explanation or not.
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