Kirron Kher
Kirron Kher in Bengali film, “Bariwali”Screenshot from Youtube Video

National Film Awards, India's most prominent film award ceremony, is not new to controversies, as new issues keep popping up almost every year. This year too, many are shocked after India's official entry to the Oscars, "Barfi!" starring Ranbir Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra didn't not win any awards.

The 60th National Film Awards, which was announced on Monday, left out "Barfi!". Its lead actress Priyanka Chopra, who won the most prestigious award for "Fashion" in 2009, has also expressd her disappointment for not winning any award at National Film Awards 2013.

Director Anurag Basu's "Barfi!" not only got critical acclaims but also earned big at the box office, but it has been accused of copying certain scenes from Hollywood films. The National Awards jury must have left out the film over allegations of plagiarism, as originality is one big criterion for selecting the winners of the awards.

Films like "Paan Singh Tomar", "Kahani" and "Vicky Donor" bagged awards in the feature film section at the National Film Awards 2013, while "Shepherds of Paradise" (Gojri & Urdu) took away the best film in the non-feature section with its earnest portrayal of the plight of a nomadic shepherd family.

Here we bring you the top five National Award controversies:-

1)      National Film Awards 2000: Kirron Kher bagged the best actress award for her performance in the Bengali film, "Bariwali" but another actress named Rita Koiral claimed that she deserve the award, alleging that she had dubbed for Kirron. The award remained with Kirron after she claimed that she spent hours together for the dialogue delivery.

Kirron Kher in Bengali film, “Bariwali”
Kirron Kher in Bengali film, “Bariwali”

2)      National Film Awards 2001: Raveena Tandon won best actress award for her performance in Kalpana Lajmi's "Daman: A Victim of Marital Violence", and Anil Kapoor won best actor award for "Pukar" but it was marred by the allegations of discrepancies in the selection procedure. Some jury members even resigned alleging that that the winners of the awards had been pre-decided.

Raveena Tandon made her debut in 1991, with Anant Balani’s “Patthar Ke Phool”, for which she won the Filmfare New Face award. The National Award-winning actress married film distributor Anil Thadani in 2004 and is the mother of four, including two adopted children. Her latest post-marriage appearance was “Bbuddah… Hoga Tera Baap” (2011).
Raveena Tandon made her debut in 1991, with Anant Balani’s “Patthar Ke Phool”, for which she won the Filmfare New Face award. The National Award-winning actress married film distributor Anil Thadani in 2004 and is the mother of four, including two adopted children. Her latest post-marriage appearance was “Bbuddah… Hoga Tera Baap” (2011).

3)      National Film Awards 2003: Ajay Devgn bagged the best actor award for his performance in in Rajkumar Santoshi's biopic, "The Legend of Bhagat Singh" but it was hit by controversy after director Adoor Gopalakrishnan said that Prakash Jha should not have head the jury of the awards as he was directing Ajay in his latest film, "Gangaajal".

Ajay Devgn
Ajay Devgn

4)      National Film Awards 2005: Saif Ali Khan got the best actor award for his performance in the film, "Hum Tum". However, many thought that he didn't deserve the award as his performance in the film was an average one. It was also speculated that Saif's mom Sharmila Tagore, who was heading the Censor Board of India then, influenced the decision of the National Films Awards jury.

Saif Ali Khan in Race 2
Saif Ali Khan in Race 2

5)      National Film Awards 2006: Sanjay Leela Bhansali's film, "Black" won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi. However, it was dogged by controversy after Sahyamli Banerjee Dev, one of the members of the National Awards jury, filed a petition in the court alleging that the award was fixed. She claimed that "Black" didn't deserve the award as it was an adaptation of English film, "The Miracle Worker" (1962). The awards function was delayed by two years following an order by the court.

"Black" poster