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National Film Awards Announcement Postponed Due to Lok Sabha Elections

File picture of President Ram Nath Kovind conferring Best Music Direction Award on AR Rahman during the 65th National Film Awards function at Vigyan Bhavan last year. I & B Minister Smriti Irani and MoS for I & B Rajyavardhan Rathore are also seen. PTI Photo by Manvender Vashist

File picture of President Ram Nath Kovind conferring Best Music Direction Award on AR Rahman during the 65th National Film Awards function at Vigyan Bhavan last year. I & B Minister Smriti Irani and MoS for I & B Rajyavardhan Rathore are also seen. PTI Photo by Manvender Vashist

Since the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) is in force, the National Film Award winners will be announced after the elections are over.

The National Film Awards ceremony honours the best of Indian cinema through an event in New Delhi on May 3 every year. But this year, the winners of the 66th National Film Awards will be declared after the 2019 general elections. The date is yet to be announced.

The update was shared on Wednesday via a press release posted on the website of the Press Information Bureau (PIB), the publicity arm of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

The winners are decided by an independent jury consisting of eminent filmmakers and film personalities and declared in April every year. But they have been pushed back this year as "elections to the 17th Lok Sabha and the Legislative Assemblies of four states are underway and the awards also include one for the most film friendly state".

"Since the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) is in force, which facilitates level playing field to all political parties and the candidates and inter alia seeks to ensure that the power of media is not used in such a manner which affects the general conduct and level playing field during the election process, it has been decided to declare the awards after the election process is over and the MCC concludes," the statement read.

Assamese film Village Rockstars won the Best Feature Film award last year. Sridevi was posthumously named Best Actress for Mom. AR Rahman took home two awards - for Best Music Direction in songs and in background score.

The seven-phase Lok Sabha elections, which began earlier this month, will run till May 19. The results will be announced on May 23.

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