For the 55-odd award recipients who had boycotted the 65th National Film Awards and refused to accept the honours from anyone other than the President, there’s no escape. The directorate of film festivals (DFF), the organiser of the awards ceremony, will now be sending the citation, medal and cheque to the awardees through Speed Post.

The 65th National Film Awards ceremony was held on Thursday evening with more than one-third of the recipients staying away from the prestigious ceremony as a mark of protest against President Ram Nath Kovind not giving away all the honours.

It is understood that the practice of sending the awards through post is not new and is an accepted government practice.

“In previous years also when the award recipients did not turn up at the ceremony due to some reason, health or otherwise, the DFF forwarded the awards to the awardees’ respective addresses,” sources added.  

However, while each year the number of absentee award recipients used to be in single digit, this year the number stands at approximately 55 due to the boycott call by a section of award recipients.

Hours ahead of the award ceremony, 66 awardees had threatened to boycott it. They also sent a signed letter of protest addressed to the DFF.

About 55 recipients stayed away from the ceremony held at Vigyan Bhawan while 80-odd received the awards, first from the information and broadcasting minister Smriti Irani and her deputy Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore and later from the President.

For the first time, the award ceremony was organised in two phases. In the first phase, the awards were presented by the I&B minister and her junior minister while in the second phase the President conferred awards on 11 recipients.
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