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10 film personalities who've returned their National Awards

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 29 October 2015, 15:06 IST

Following the lead of the writers and poets, 10 National Award-winning film personalities decided to return their awards to the government on Wednesday, 28 October.

With this, the filmmakers joined the unprecedented protests from intellectuals against the rising intolerance in the country, in addition to the failure of the government to address the issue at the Film and Television Institute of India in Pune.

FTII students have been on strike since June against the appointment of Gajendra Chauhan as the chairman of the institute, in addition to other right-wing appointees to its governing body.

Earlier on Wednesday, the students had finally ended their hunger strike, urging filmmakers and activists to take their battle forward.

Here are the filmmakers who have decided to return their awards:

Dibakar Banerjee
Dibakar Banerjee_Vidya Subramanian/Hindustan Times/Getty Images

Photo: Vidya Subramanian/Hindustan Times/Getty Images

National Awards: Khosla Ka Ghosla (Best Feature Film in Hindi), Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye! (Best Popular Film)

During a press conference about returning the award, Banerjee said, "The issue is about students and education. It is not a Bollywood issue. I know we will be ridiculed, but I want our classrooms to become a true source of learning, not mediocrity."

Anand Patwardhan
Anand Patwardhan_Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

Photo: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

National Awards: Bombay: Our City (Best Non-Feature Film), In Memory of Friends and In the Name of God (both Best Investigative Film), Father, Son, and Holy War (Best Film on Social Issues), War and Peace (Best Non-Feature Film)

At the press conference, Patwardhan said, "It is not just artists and writers and filmmakers who are angry at what is going on. Even the common people are disgusted and afraid at the sheer impunity of those who indulge in communal violence."

Nishtha Jain
Nishta Jain_Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

Photo: Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

National Award: Gulabi Gang (Best Film on Social Issues, Best Editing Non-Feature)

Jain is a well known name in the international documentary film scene and has won major awards in Dubai, Norway, Madrid, New York etc.

Talking about her decision to return the award, she said, "The National Award is one of the few awards that's not corrupt, and still holds up a high standard. Which is why this makes it painful. This is the beginning of my protest, not the end. We have to think of more clever ways of protesting."

Kirti Nakhwa

National Award: Lost and Found (Best Promotional Film)

Nakhwa has worked as an editor on various films. Her notable films are Hunterrr and Lost and Found.

Lipika Singh Darai

National Awards: Eka Gachha, Eka Manisa, Eka Samudra (Best Debut Film of a Director, Non-Feature category), Gaarud (Best Audiography), Kankee O Saapo (Best Narration/Voice-Over)

An FTII alumnus who hails from Odisha, Darai is best known for work on documentaries.

Harshavardhan Kulkarni
Harshvardhan Kulkarni_File Photo

File photo

National Award: Lost and Found (Best Promotional Film - producer and director)

Kulkarni's major films are Lost and Found, Hunterrr and Hasee Toh Phasee (as writer).

Hari Nair

National Award: Sham's Vision (Best Cinematography, Non-Feature category)

Nair has worked as a cinematographer on Malayalam films like Ennu Swantham Janakikutty and Swaham.

Indraneel Lahiri

National Award: Aamaar Katha: Story of Binodini (Best Cinematography, Non-Feature category)

Lahiri studied Motion Picture Photography at FTII. He works as a freelance cinematographer, as well as a producer of research-oriented fiction and documentary film projects.

Rakesh Sharma
Rakesh Sharma_File Photo

File photo

National Award: Final Solution (Special Jury Award / Special Mention for Non-Feature Film)

Sharma is famous for his feature length documentary, Final Solution, on the Gujarat riots of 2002.

Paresh Kamdar

National Award: Rasayatra (Best Non-Feature Film Editing)

Kamdar's major films as director include Khargosh, Sirf Tumhari and Johnny Johnny - Yes Papa!

First published: 29 October 2015, 15:06 IST