|National Film Award for Best Direction|
|Awarded for||Excellence in cinematic direction achievement|
|Sponsored by||Directorate of Film Festivals|
|Formerly called||Award for excellence in direction (1967–1976)|
|Most recent winner||Sanjay Puran Singh Chauhan|
|First winner||Satyajit Ray|
The National Film Award for Best Direction is an honour presented annually at India's National Film Awards ceremony by the Directorate of Film Festivals (DFF), an organisation set up by the Indian Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.Since 1967, the award is given by a national panel appointed annually by the DFF to a director for their work within Indian cinema. It is presented by the president of India at a ceremony held in New Delhi.
The winner is given a "Swarna Kamal" (Golden Lotus) certificate and a cash prize of ₹ 2.5 lakh (US$3,500). Including ties and repeat winners, the DFF has presented a total of 53 Best Direction awards to 34 different directors. Although Indian cinema produces films in more than twenty languages, the performances of films that have won awards are of nine languages: Bengali (16 awards), Malayalam (13 awards), Hindi (11 awards), Tamil (4 awards), English and Kannada (3 awards each), Marathi (2 awards), Assamese and Punjabi (1 each).
The first recipient was Satyajit Ray, who was honoured at the 15th National Film Awards for directing the Bengali film Chiriyakhana (1967).Ray is also the most frequent recipient, with six wins. Adoor Gopalakrishnan has won 5 awards, which includes his debut Malayalam film Swayamvaram (1972). Mrinal Sen has been awarded four times. He is also the only recipient to win the award for directing films in two different languages: Bengali and Hindi. At the 19th National Film Awards, Girish Karnad and B.V. Karanth shared the award for co-directing the Kannada film Vamsha Vriksha (1972). The most recent recipient is Sanjay Puran Singh Chauhan, who was honoured at the 67th National Film Awards for directing the Hindi film Baahattar Hoorain (2019).
|Satyajit Ray||Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne||Bengali|
|Mrinal Sen||Bhuvan Shome||Hindi|
|B. V. Karanth||Vamsha Vriksha||Kannada|
|Satyajit Ray||Sonar Kella||Bengali|
|Satyajit Ray||Jana Aranya||Bengali|
|G. Aravindan||Kanchana Sita||Malayalam|
|Mrinal Sen||Ek Din Pratidin||Bengali|
|Mrinal Sen||Akaler Shandhaney||Bengali|
|Aparna Sen||36 Chowringhee Lane||English|
|Shaji N. Karun||Piravi||Malayalam|
|Tapan Sinha||Ek Doctor Ki Maut||Hindi|
|Goutom Ghosh||Padma Nadir Majhi||Bengali|
|T. V. Chandran||Ponthan Mada||Malayalam|
|Jahnu Barua||Xagoroloi Bohudoor||Assamese|
|Saeed Akhtar Mirza||Naseem||Hindi|
|B. Lenin||Ooruku Nooruper||Tamil|
|Aparna Sen||Mr. and Mrs. Iyer||English|
|Goutom Ghosh||Abar Aranye||Bengali|
|Buddhadeb Dasgupta||Swapner Din||Bengali|
|Madhur Bhandarkar||Traffic Signal||Hindi|
|Adoor Gopalakrishnan||Naalu Pennungal||Malayalam|
|Gurvinder Singh||Anhe Ghore Da Daan||Punjabi|
|Shivaji Lotan Patil||Dhag||Marathi|
|Sanjay Leela Bhansali||Bajirao Mastani||Hindi|
|Aditya Dhar||Uri: The Surgical Strike||Hindi|
|Sanjay Puran Singh Chauhan||Bahattar Hoorain||Hindi|
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