Bollywood and box office biggies bagging top honours at the 63rd National Awards has left a section of netizens as well as regional filmmakers upset and suspicious about the credibility of the prestigious film awards. But Shoojit Sircar, who is elated about his 'Piku' star Amitabh Bachchan being named the Best Actor, chooses to disagree. In a quick chat with hitlist, he talks about the controversies surrounding the awards....
Q. Had you ever imagined that Big B would win a National Award for your directorial?
A. To be honest, I had expected him to win one even for Shoebite, but unfortunately, that has not released yet. In fact, even for 'Piku', I always believed that Bachchan sir would be a strong contender for National Awards. I had a sixth sense.
Q. Did you speak to him after the news trickled in?
A. Yes, I called up to congratulate. He was thrilled to have received his fourth National Award. You know, it was like a jinx because 'Shoebite' did not release, but the journey that Piku has made makes us happy. It received people's love and now a prestigious award. It is satisfying.
Q. Many raised questions about the Best Actor award being given to him since he was not the main lead…
A. I don't agree with that debate. The story was about a father-daughter relationship and he was the lead in that sense.
Q. Were you expecting Piku to get awards in other categories too?
A. I did want Juhi (Chaturvedi, writer of 'Piku') to win an award. And one for Deepika Padukone too. She was fantastic.
Q. The credibility of the National Awards has been questioned with Bollywood and commercial entertainers hogging the limelight...
A. I think it happens every year. But, we should trust the jury. In 2012, 'Vicky Donor' and 'Paan Singh Tomar' also won National Awards. Bollywood films have been appreciated on the National Awards stage since the last few years. The perception that Bollywood films are only about song and dance has to change. It is no more that way. In fact, I always believed that my films will not work at the box office, but they have all done well. So, Bollywood and its audience have evolved over the years, and that's why the films are also being recognised at prestigious award functions. The National Awards jury is sensible and we should have faith in their judgment.
Q. Now that Bachchan has won a National Award for your film, do you plan to commence talks to release 'Shoebite'?
A. Talks are definitely on and I am hopeful it will release.