39th National Film Award of 1992

The 39th National Film Awards, held in the year 1992, recognized outstanding contributions to the Indian film industry across various categories. These awards celebrated excellence in feature films, non-feature films, and writing on cinema. The event showcased the remarkable achievements of filmmakers, actors, writers, and other creative professionals who left an indelible mark on Indian cinema during that year. Let’s delve into the different award categories, winners, and their notable achievements.


The 39th National Film Awards honored exceptional films and talents that captivated audiences with their creativity, storytelling, and technical brilliance. The awards covered a diverse range of categories, including feature films, non-feature films, and writing on cinema. With a panel of esteemed jury members, the event recognized the best of Indian cinema and celebrated the efforts of those who contributed significantly to the industry.

Award Categories

Lifetime Achievement Award

Name of AwardAwardee(s)Awarded AsAwards
Dadasaheb Phalke AwardBhalji PendharkarFilm director, Film producer and screenwriterSwarna Kamal, ₹ 100,000 and a Shawl

Feature Films

Feature films were a prominent part of the 39th National Film Awards. A few standout films garnered attention for their exceptional storytelling and artistic prowess. Notably, the Bengali film “Agantuk,” the Malayalam film “Bharatham,” and the Hindi film “Dharavi” received multiple awards. Here’s a glimpse of the awards given in various categories:


A committee led by Adoor Gopalakrishnan assessed the feature film awards. The jury members included renowned personalities like Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Aamir Raza Husain, Ashish Saraf, Firooze Rangoonwala, Hema Chaudhary, and more.

All India Award

Golden Lotus Award

All awardees were honored with the prestigious ‘Golden Lotus Award (Swarna Kamal)’ along with certificates and cash prizes.

Name of AwardName of FilmLanguageAwardee(s)Cash Prize
Best Feature FilmAgantukBengaliProducer: NFDC₹ 50,000/-
Director: Satyajit Ray₹ 25,000/-
Citation: For its masterly treatment of an unusual subject investing it with humour, suspense and drama accomplishing remarkable insight into human behaviour.
Best DirectionAgantukBengaliSatyajit Ray₹ 50,000/-
Citation: For the outstanding craftsmanship and the command over the language of cinema he employed in creating a remarkable cinematic experience.
Best Debut Film of a DirectorHaladharAssameseProducer: Geeti Barua and Dwijen Hazorika<br>Director: Sanjeev Hazorika₹ 25,000/- Each
Citation: For its freshness of approach, the subtlety of its pervasive humour and the courage shown in choosing to build a film around a plough.
Best Children’s FilmAbhayamMalayalamProducer: Children’s Film Society₹ 30,000/-
Director: Sivan₹ 15,000/-
Citation: For its outstanding qualities as a film that entertains children and adults alike.

Silver Lotus Award

All awardees received the esteemed ‘Silver Lotus Award (Rajat Kamal)’ along with cash prizes.

Name of AwardName of FilmLanguageAwardee(s)Cash Prize
Second Best Feature FilmFiringotiAssameseProducer: Sailadhar Baruah and Jahnu Barua<br>Director: Jahnu Barua₹ 30,000/- Each
Citation: For its artistic excellence and for the effective use of the medium for portraying a theme of immense social relevance.
Best ScreenplayKadavuMalayalamM. T. Vasudevan Nair₹ 10,000/-
Citation: For its sensitive and poetic treatment of disillusionment of an underprivileged adolescent.
Best CinematographyAadi MimansaOriyaCameraman: Apurba Kishore Bir<br>Laboratory Processing: Prasad Film Laboratories₹ 10,000/- Each
Citation: For achieving high degree of accomplishment in painting the film with light, imparting a sensuous quality to the texture and feel of the film.
Best AudiographyRukmavati Ki HaveliHindi• Ajay Munjal<br>• A. M. Padmanabhan₹ 10,000/-
Citation: For the quality and effectiveness of sound in contributing to the ambience of stark oppression that pervades the film.
Best EditingDharaviHindiRenu Saluja₹ 10,000/-
Citation: For achieving right timing and rhythm, with the dexterous juxtaposition of sound and visuals.
Best Art DirectionRukmavati Ki HaveliHindiSamir Chanda₹ 10,000/-
Citation: For creating an authentic and real setting, matching the mood and manner of the film.
Best Music DirectionDharaviHindiRajat Dholakia₹ 10,000/-
Citation: For using music as an integral part of the film structure, furthering the meaning and dimensions of the theme.
Best Costume DesignLamheHindi• Neeta Lulla<br>• Kachins<br>• Leena Daru₹ 10,000/-
Citation: For faithfully recreating the colour, variety and richness of the dresses worn in Rajasthan.
… (Continued)

(Note: The table continues with more award categories and winners.)

Winners Table

Here’s a summarized list of winners from the 39th National Film Awards:

CategoryWinner(s)Notable Achievement
Best Feature FilmAgantukMasterful treatment of an unusual subject
Best DirectionSatyajit RayOutstanding craftsmanship and command over cinema
Best Debut Film DirectorSanjeev HazorikaFresh approach and courage in storytelling
Best Children’s FilmAbhayamEntertainment for all ages
Second Best Feature FilmFiringotiArtistic excellence and social relevance
Best ScreenplayM. T. Vasudevan NairPoetic treatment of adolescent disillusionment
… (Continued)

(Note: The table continues with more award categories and winners.)

Notable Mentions

The 39th National Film Awards also recognized notable achievements in non-feature films and writing on cinema. Here are some standout mentions:

Non-Feature Films

Several non-feature films were acknowledged for their insightful storytelling and impactful themes. “Sons of Abotani: The Misings” and other films received recognition for their portrayal of tribal life, artistic presentation, and engaging narratives.

Writing on Cinema

The awards also celebrated individuals who contributed to the study and appreciation of cinema through their writings. “Athmanindayude Pookal” by Aravindan Vallachira and Gautam Kaul’s film critiques were applauded for their critical analyses and comprehensive insights into the world of cinema.


Q1: What was the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 39th National Film Awards? A1: The Dadasaheb Phalke Award, the Lifetime Achievement Award, was presented to Bhalji Pendharkar, a notable film director, producer, and screenwriter.

Q2: Which film won the Best Feature Film award? A2: The Bengali film “Agantuk” won the award for Best Feature Film. It was recognized for its masterful treatment of an unusual subject.

Q3: Who chaired the committee for the feature films awards? A3: The feature film awards committee was headed by Adoor Gopalakrishnan, a distinguished filmmaker.

Q4: What were some notable achievements in the non-feature films category? A4: “Sons of Abotani: The Misings” stood out in the non-feature films category for effectively portraying the life of a tribe and its struggle for survival.

Q5: Who received the award for Best Film Critic? A5: Gautam Kaul was honored as the Best Film Critic for his clarity and consistency in writing on a range of cinema-related issues.

Q6: What was the central theme of the film “Athmanindayude Pookal”? A6: “Athmanindayude Pookal” critically analyzed M. T. Vasudevan Nair’s film, exploring the complexity of human values and their interaction with societal institutions.


The 39th National Film Awards of 1992 were a testament to the creative brilliance, artistic vision, and storytelling prowess within the Indian film industry. The event recognized outstanding achievements across various categories, showcasing the immense talent and dedication of filmmakers, actors, writers, and critics. These awards continue to stand as a celebration of Indian cinema’s rich diversity and its impact on global storytelling.


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