Priyadarshan, who headed the jury on feature films at the National Film Awards 2017, has once again defended the selection of Akshay Kumar as Best Actor (for Rustom), and said the jury “has done total justice” to the awards. Indian Express reports that the filmmaker said that appreciation of cinema is subjective, but the jury’s decision is final and must be reported.
His comments come in the light of accusations of favoritism.
Speaking at the National Film Awards ceremony in New Delhi, Priyadarshan said, “India is the country which makes the maximum number of movies. Cinema is one of our religions…It was a tough job to do the filtration. I promise you all, we have done our best. Appreciation of cinema is always subjective: my film may not be good for you, your film may not be good for me. But when it comes to a jury, its decision is final and it has to be appreciated, I believe.” Priyadarshan added that a total of 344 films were submitted to the jury for consideration, and they picked the one they considered best from it.
One of the criteria for selection apparently was cultural sensitivity. He said, “We have done total justice and the jury gave importance to the films which had social issues, projected our culture and beliefs and how India was projected — that’s the major way we looked at the job while analysing the movies.”
There has been a lot of talk around this year’s National Award winners, as many believe that Akshay Kumar did not deserve the Best Actor prize.