21st National Film Award of 1974

The 21st National Film Awards of 1974 marked another remarkable year in the history of Indian cinema. Celebrating excellence and innovation in the realm of filmmaking, these awards continue to stand as a testament to the talent and dedication of individuals who contribute to the vibrant tapestry of Indian cinema. Let’s delve into the highlights of the 21st National Film Award ceremony, exploring the categories, winners, and more.

About the 21st National Film Award

The 21st National Film Awards were held to honor outstanding contributions to Indian cinema released in the year 1973. Organized by the Directorate of Film Festivals, an organization functioning under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, these awards recognize exceptional performances, storytelling, and technical prowess across various categories.

Award Categories

The 21st National Film Awards featured a diverse range of categories that spanned both artistic and technical aspects of filmmaking. These included:

  1. Best Feature Film: Recognizing the overall excellence of a feature-length film.
  2. Best Direction: Honoring the director’s vision and storytelling skills.
  3. Best Actor: Celebrating an outstanding male performance.
  4. Best Actress: Acknowledging an exceptional female performance.
  5. Best Supporting Actor: Recognizing excellence in a supporting male role.
  6. Best Supporting Actress: Acknowledging exceptional support in a female role.
  7. Best Music Direction: Celebrating exceptional musical composition for the film.
  8. Best Playback Singer (Male/Female): Recognizing outstanding vocal performances.
  9. Best Cinematography: Honoring excellence in capturing visuals.
  10. Best Editing: Recognizing skillful editing to enhance storytelling.
  11. Best Art Direction: Acknowledging exceptional production design.
  12. Best Screenplay: Celebrating the best-written screenplay.
  13. Best Children’s Film: Recognizing excellence in children-oriented cinema.
  14. Best Documentary: Honoring outstanding non-fiction filmmaking.
  15. Best Short Fiction Film: Celebrating excellence in short-form storytelling.

Winners of the 21st National Film Award

Here’s a glimpse into some of the notable winners of the 21st National Film Awards:

Best Feature FilmHrishikesh MukherjeeAnand
Best DirectionShyam BenegalAnkur
Best ActorRajesh KhannaAnand
Best ActressSimi GarewalSiddhartha
Best Music DirectionJaidevGaman
Best Playback Singer (Male)K. J. YesudasGaayathri
Best Playback Singer (Female)Vani JairamGaayathri
Best CinematographyK. K. MahajanGaman
Best EditingBhanudas DivakarAnkur
Best Art DirectionAjit BanerjeeAnkur
Best ScreenplayNabendu GhoshAnkur
Best Children’s FilmSatyen BoseCharandas Chor
Best DocumentaryS. SukhdevWeaves of Maheshwar
Best Short Fiction FilmTapan SinhaHarmonium

Notable Films of 1974

  1. Anand: A heartwarming tale of friendship and life’s impermanence, directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee and starring Rajesh Khanna and Amitabh Bachchan.
  2. Ankur: Shyam Benegal’s directorial debut, highlighting societal issues and featuring powerful performances by Shabana Azmi and Anant Nag.
  3. Siddhartha: Based on Hermann Hesse’s novel, this film, starring Shashi Kapoor and Simi Garewal, explores the spiritual journey of a young man.
  4. Gaman: A poignant story of rural-urban migration, capturing the struggles of a man searching for a better life, directed by Muzaffar Ali.


Q: How were the winners selected for the 21st National Film Awards? A: A panel of experts from the film industry and related fields evaluated the entries and chose the winners based on various criteria.

Q: Were there any regional films that received recognition? A: Yes, the National Film Awards often recognize outstanding films from various Indian languages, promoting cultural diversity.

Q: Are the National Film Awards still held today? A: Yes, the National Film Awards are an annual event, continuing to celebrate excellence in Indian cinema.

Q: Who received the Best Actor and Best Actress awards in 1974? A: Rajesh Khanna won the Best Actor award for “Anand,” and Simi Garewal received the Best Actress award for “Siddhartha.”

Q: What is the significance of the Best Children’s Film category? A: The Best Children’s Film category highlights the importance of quality cinema for young audiences, encouraging filmmakers to create meaningful content for children.

In conclusion, the 21st National Film Awards of 1974 recognized outstanding contributions to Indian cinema, showcasing a diverse array of films and talents. These awards continue to inspire filmmakers and cinephiles alike, reminding us of the power of storytelling and the magic of the silver screen.


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