The Filmfare Awards

Every year we witness the glamorous film industry of India come together to celebrate one of the most renowned award ceremonies in the world, the Filmfare Awards. The evening comprises a set of accolades being presented to celebrities and filmmakers in recognition of their performances in the arts and technical fields.

The evening is full of actors, actresses, and other well-known celebrities who walk the red carpet to attend the event. It is one of the most awaited award night in the Bollywood industry.

The Background

It was during 1954 that the first-ever Filmfare ceremony was conducted. It was inaugurated by The Times Group in India and was introduced in the same year as the National Film Awards. The Filmfare Awards were initially named as the ‘Clare Awards’ or ‘The Clares.’ This name was given after the editor of The Times of India, Clare Mendonca.

The first winners were selected based on a poll. The polling was done between the readers of the Filmfare magazine. Initially, a whopping total of 20,000 readers all over India took part in the survey. The awards were presented to the nominees who got the most votes.

The first Filmfare ceremony was conducted in the Metro Theatre of Mumbai on 21st March 1954. During this ceremony, a total of five awards were given to different celebrities. The trophies given were for Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Music Director.

The celebrities to make history by winning the first Filmfare were: MeenaKumari as the Best Actress for her performance in the movie BaijuBawra, Dilip Kumar as the Best Actor for his performance in the film Daag, Bimal Roy as the Best Director for his outstanding direction of the movie Do BighaZameen, Do BighaZameen as the Best Film, and Naushad Ali as the Best Music Director for his music in BaijuBawra.

As a guest of honor at the first Filmfare Awards, the Hollywood star, Gregory Peck, was invited. Although he could not make it to the function, he became a part of the after-party that followed the award night at Gymkhana, Mumbai.

In 1956, a dual voting system was introduced. Under this voting system, both the public and a jury of selected professionals get to vote for the winners. The categories are divided between the public voted winners and the winners based on the critics’ votes. For example, the 64th annual Filmfare Awards held in March 2019, witnessed the win of Raazi as the Best Film based on public voting. However, the Best Film winner, according to the critics, was Andhadhun. This voting system is quite contrary to the winning criteria of the National Film Awards, which are selected by a jury appointed by the Indian Government.

The Filmfare Trophy

The Lady in Black, or The Black Lady, is the name given to the Filmfare trophy. The award shows a woman making a dance move with her hands raised together. The award has been designed under the supervision of the art director of Time’s of India, Walter Langhammer. The designer of the trophy is known to be N.G. Pansare.

The trophy, weighing around five kilos, stand 46.5 cm tall. It is usually made of bronze. In celebration of the silver jubilee of the event, the trophies were made of silver. Continuing with the tradition, the 50 years golden jubilee was celebrated by making the awards out of gold. Since 2000, the trophies have been manufactured by The Award Gallery.

The trophy has significantly been the same till 2012. However, in 2013, the award was amended massively to give it a more 3-D look. This change was made due to two reasons: to match the continually evolving and advancing world of technology, which will rapidly change more soon, and to incorporate the theme of the 2013 awards, which was ‘a hundred years leap in the future.’

Filmfare Fun Facts

The movie ‘Black’ produced by Sanjay LeelaBhansali was an immense hit in the industry. It went on to win 11 Filmfare awards for several categories and set a record for the most wins ever in the Filmfare history for a single film.

‘Sholay,’ the movie, was considered Bollywood’s greatest blockbuster ever. However, the viewers were left shocked when the film only won one award that too for Best Editing in 1975.

Vyajayantimala won the award for the Best Supporting Actress in the movie ‘Devdas.’ However, she rejected accepting the award because she was not the supporting actress instead of the lead in the film. She claimed SuchitraSen was wrongfully being portrayed as the lead in the movie.

The after-party trend started when Sunil Dutt threw a party for Dilip Kumar. The party was to recognize Kumar beating Dutt and winning the Best Actor Award in 1969.

The Recent Times

The Filmfare Awards are valued massively to the point that they are considered the Indian film industry’s Oscars. After the mid-90s, Filmfare saw a decline in the viewership and the interest shown by the public in the Filmfare ceremony. This decline was because, until then, Filmfare was the only well-known and recognized awards in India. The year 200 witnessed the introduction of several other movie award ceremonies. As a result, Filmfare lost much of its charm and curiosity.

One new award category was introduced in the ceremony conducted in the year 2017. The ‘Short Film’ category had VidyaBalan and GauriShinde as the critics on the jury. The movie ‘Khamakha’ won the People’s Choice Award for Best Short Film. Other short movies such as Taandav, Chutney, and MatitaliKusti also won several awards.

The 64thFilmfare Awards were held in March 2019. The movies ‘Raazi’ and ‘Andhadun’ stole most of the awards with their ground-breaking performances. Both won five awards each. The movies ‘Badhaai Ho’ and ‘Padmaavat’ both won four awards each and were also considered box office hits.

The Bollywood industry, gradually and steadily, has made its name in the international filming scenario. The award ceremonies and the red carpet events are viewed both by local and international audiences. Filmfare is one of such events which is internationally acclaimed and has made a resounding mark in the entire filmmaking world.