The National Film Awards 2018 ceremony took place at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi on Thursday. Hours before the event, the winners were informed that only 11 winners would receive the honour from President Ram Nath Kovind, with minister for Information & Broadcasting Smriti Irani giving away the rest of the awards.
Over 50 winners decided not to attend the event in protest. Many artistes from Malayalam filmdom, who won maximum number of awards, decided to skip the ceremony. Among them were well known stars such as Take Off actor Parvathy and actor Fahadh Faasil.
Malayalam filmmaker Jayaraj, who received the Best Director award, slammed other artistes who refused to accept the awards. He went on to add that those who boycotted the event should return the cash award that was deposited into their accounts. Jayaraj won the award for his film Bhayanakam, which won two more National Awards this year.
Jayaraj told The News Minute later: “ I find nothing wrong in having said that. I do not want to comment further, let the others respond to what I have said, then I will comment more on this matter.”
Over 50 winners out of the 125 recipients boycotted the event. As many as 69 award winners wrote to the President and the ministry of information and broadcasting hours before the award to protest the change in convention, claiming it was a “breach of trust” and “disappointment” that the “institution that abides by extreme protocol fails to inform us of such a vital aspect of the ceremony with a prior notice”. Among the signatories was legendary singer KJ Yesudas, who later attended the function.