National Film Award for Best Biographical Film

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National Film Award for Best Biographical Film
National award for contributions to short film
Sponsored by Directorate of Film Festivals
Reward(s)
  • Rajat Kamal (Silver Lotus)
  • 50,000 (US$700)
First awarded1984
Last awarded2017
Most recent winner
  •  Naachi se Baanchi
  •  Sword of Liberty
Highlights
Total awarded38
First winnerPadmashri Kalamandalam Krishnan Nair

The National Film Award for Best Biographical Film is one of the National Film Awards presented annually by the Directorate of Film Festivals, the organisation set up by Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, India. It is one of several awards presented for non-feature films and awarded with Rajat Kamal (Silver Lotus).

Contents

The award was instituted in 1984, at 32nd National Film Awards and awarded annually for the short films produced in the year across the country, in all Indian languages.

Winners

Award includes 'Rajat Kamal' (Silver Lotus) and cash prize. Following are the award winners over the years:

Awards legends
Indicates a joint award for the year
Dagger-14-plain.png
Awarded as Best Biographical Film / Best Historical Reconstruction Film
List of films, showing the year, language(s), producer(s), director(s) and citation
YearFilm(s)Language(s)Producer(s)Director(s)CitationRefs.
1984
(32nd)
Padmashri Kalamandalam Krishnan Nair Malayalam James PaulMatthew Paul  [1]
1985
(33rd)
Satyajit RayEnglish Films Division Shyam Benegal
For the deep analysis of the life and work of Satyajit Ray, in a face-to-face interaction.
[2]
The Seer Who Walks AloneEnglish G. Aravindan G. Aravindan
For the sensitive portrayal of the life, personality and philosophy of J. Krishnamurthi, the noted philosopher.
1986
(34th)
Sister Alphonsa of BharananganamEnglish Dejo Kappen
 George Sebastian
Rajiv Vijay Raghavan
For its creative use of cinematography in portraying with great sympathy and understanding the life of Sister Alphonsa.
[3]
Kamala NehruEnglishUma ShankarAshish Mukherjee
For the innovative use of graphics in the effective depiction of the subject.
1987
(35th)
Basheer: The ManEnglishKannakulam AbdullaM. R. Rahman
For its presentation of a relatively unknown literary personality through a fresh, spontaneous, uninhibited portrayal that brings out the complexity of an unconventional individual, rich in wit and worldly wisdom.
[4]
1988
(36th)
No Award [5]
1989
(37th)
C. V. Raman: The Scientist and His LegacyEnglishN. K. SaigalNandan Kudhyadi
For being an innovative and sensitive biography of a great scientist, C. V. Raman, portraying his achievements, trials and tribulations.
[6]
1990
(38th)
BabaEnglishMediart Film Pvt. Ltd Rajiv Mehrotra
For the relaxed and sensitive portrayal of an extraordinary man of our times, bubbling with humanity, portraying the social causes for which Baba Amte has dedicated life, with a sense of deep involvement, never descending to eulogising.
[7]
1991
(39th)
Bhavantarana Oriya Bombay Cinematograph Kumar Shahani
For presenting the life and art of Guru Kelucharan Mahapatra in distinct stylised manner.
[8]
Kabitar Ananta Jatrapathe Bengali Department of Information and Cultural Affairs, Government of West Bengal Sanat Kumar Dasgupta
For imaginative visualisation of poetry of the late Jibananand Das and relating it to his life and time.
1992
(40th)
Pandit Bhimsen JoshiHindi Gulzar for Films Division Gulzar
For a moving rendering of the life of great master of ragas.
[9]
1993
(41st)
Colors of AbsenceEnglish  Shanta Gokhale
 Arun Khopkar
Arun Khopkar
For a beautifully crafted and successful presentation of the biography of the painter, Jehangir Sabavala, through his work. The sound design of the film has also been meticulously conceived.
[10]
1994
(42nd)
No Award [11]
1995
(43rd)
A Living LegendEnglishAurora Film CorporationSatadru Chaki
For portraying with sincerity the life of an educationist and parliamentarian Prof. Hiren Mukherjee.
[12]
1996
(44th)
Hastir Kanya Assamese Digbijay MedhiPrabin Hazarika
For exploring the world of Goalpariya folk music through the life of singer Pratima Borooah Pandey of Gauripur, Assam.
[13]
1997
(45th)
Mounam SowmanasyamMalayalamT. RavindranathRavindran
For an insightful evocation of the shy and retiring filmmaker Arvindan, and the erudite assessment of his cinematic idiom.
[14]
1998
(46th)
Premji: Ithihasathinte SparsamMalayalam Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi M. R. Rajan
For an insightful voyage into the meaningful and exemplary lives of Premji and M.R.B., two legendary social reformers.
[15]
Unarvinte Kalam: M.R.B.
1999
(47th)
NottamMalayalamBina NarayanM. R. Rajan
For portraying the renowned Kathakali actor Kizhpadam Kumaran Nair, his valuable contribution to the art form, his devotion, dignity and his insights into nature, art and life.
[16]
Mallika SarabhaiEnglishFilms DivisionAruna Raje Patil
For a vibrant presentation of a contemporary woman’s life and art, through the perspective of Mallika Sarabhai.
2000
(48th)
Devanarthakan
(The Divine Dancer)
MalayalamA. V. Ali Koya for Kerala State Chalachitra Academy Sudish Gopalakrishnan
For the effective portrayal of Kodakkat Kannan Peruvannan, the renowned Theyyam artist, popularly known as Devanarthakan.
[17]
2001
(49th)
Teejan BaiHindiKuldeep Sinha for Films DivisionV. Packirisamy
For the portrayal of the success story of the folk artist.
[18]
2002
(50th)
Meeting ManjitEnglishIna Puri Buddhadeb Dasgupta
For making incisive use of the visual potential of cinema to give us rare insight into an artist's life, his subconscious and its articulation on canvas. The film brilliantly juxtaposes the journeys of the artist, his friend Ina and the film maker himself.
[19]
2003
(51st)
No Award [20]
2004
(52nd)
It's Prabhat Marathi A. V. DamleMadhavi Vaidya
For presenting the glorious history of Prabhat Film Company in a very engaging and fascinating manner through excellent compilation of the excerpts of some of the renowned old films of the company.
[21]
2005
(53rd)
Hans Akela: Kumar GandharvaDagger-14-plain.pngHindiFilms Division Jabbar Patel
For a film made with a deep sense of understanding of classical Music. This well researched film sensitively evokes the unique personality and contribution of Kumar Gandharva and shows the human face of his outstanding creativity.
[22]
2006
(54th)
MinukkuMalayalam Devadasan Keezhpatt
 Bina Narayanan
M. R. Rajan
The film succeeds in imaginatively presenting the life story of "Kottakkal Sivaraman" the legendary Kathakali artist, who specialises in performing female roles. In the process it also highlights some aspects of traditional Kathakali dance.
[23]
Guru Laimayum Thambalngoubi Devi Meitei Aribam Syam Sharma Aribam Syam Sharma
For the simplicity and grace with which the director has related the story of the great Manipuri dance and theatre artist "Guru Laimayum Thambalngoubi Devi".
2007
(55th)
AntardhwaniDagger-14-plain.pngHindiFilms Division Jabbar Patel
For creatively bringing out the life and times of Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma in his journey to revive the lost music of the Santoor and place it on the world stage. The pace and rhythm of the film is in tune with the melodious music of the Santoor.
[24]
2008
(56th)
The Assassination of Rajiv Gandhi: A ReconstructionEnglishFilms DivisionR. Krishna Mohan
For traversing vast stretches of time and geographical space, this film deftly puts together strands of information, perception, evidence and historical contexts to reconstruct a compelling narrative about the gruesome assassination of a world leader.
[25]
2009
(57th)
Pancham Unmixed Bengali
 Hindi
 English
Brahmanand S Siingh Brahmanand S Siingh
For an engaging compilation of the tumultuous journey of a legendary and iconic music composer of the Indian Film Industry whose music lives on.
[26]
2010
(58th)
NilamadhabaEnglishFilms DivisionDilip Patnaik
For an intimate portrayal of the inimitable Sunanda Patnaik, whose life is inseparable from contemporary Indian classical music. The film explores the inner spirit of the artist through evocative moments, pregnant with visual passages.
[27]
2011
(59th)
Vishnupant Damle: Bolpatancha Mook Nayak Dagger-14-plain.pngMarathiAnil Anant DamleVirendra Valsangkar
For capturing the odyssey of an unsung pioneer of cinema who dared to follow his dreams and enriched the grand canvas experience of the Indian film history.
[28]
2012
(60th)
Celluloid Man Dagger-14-plain.png English
 Hindi
  Kannada
 Bengali
Shivendra Singh Dungarpur Shivendra Singh Dungarpur
For capturing, with warmth, the essential impetus of the life of a person whose love for cinema and its diligent archiving has virtually created a cinematic heritage and encouraged generations of filmmakers. And for the film's ability to share the beauty of this impetus with its own creative archiving that makes for a rich multi-layered biography.
[29]
2013
(61st)
The Last AdieuDagger-14-plain.pngEnglishFilms DivisionShabnam Sukhdev
For its insight into the work of an exceptionally passionate documentary filmmaker blended with a frank and moving account of his daughter’s attempt to come to terms with his estrangement from the family.
[30]
2014
(62nd)
Amar Katha: Story of BinodiniDagger-14-plain.pngBengaliFilms DivisionTuhinabha Majumder
For its stylistic and poetic portrayal of the 19th century theatre actress Binodini Devi's autobiography.
[31]
2015
(63rd)
Life in Metaphors: A Portrait Of Girish KasaravalliDagger-14-plain.png English
 Kannada
Reelism FilmO. P. Shrivastava
Philosophical images of life and beyond.
[32]
2016
(64th)
Zikr Us Parivaksha: Begum AkhtarDagger-14-plain.pngEnglish Sangeet Natak Akademi Nirmal Chander
This film uses archival recordings, recreations and interviews to take us on a touching musical journey with a lady who broke open social barriers, becoming one of India's most legendary musical maestros.
[33]
2017
(65th)
Naachi se BaanchiDagger-14-plain.png Films Division of India Biju Toppo
Tracing the footprints of the global yet rooted leader Padmashree Ram DayalMunda's inspirational journey through his music, academics and politics.
Sword of LibertyDagger-14-plain.pngR. C. Suresh Shiny Benjamin
An elaborate reconstruction of a Diwan’s life in the erstwhile Travancore State.

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