New Delhi: The National Film Awards committee has constituted five new regional panels for selecting films for the awards.
According to S.M. Khan, director general, Directorate of Film Festivals (DFF), the North panel is for films in English, Punjabi, Dogri, Urdu, Bhojpuri, Rajasthani and central Indian languages. The West panel is for Marathi, Hindi, Gujrati and Konkani films.
The South I plan is for Tamil and Malayalam films, the South II panel for Kannada, Telugu and Tulu films and the East panel for films in Bengali, Assamese, Oriya and dialects spoken in the northeast.
Elaborating on the panel`s working, Khan said: "Each regional panel will comprise a chairman and one member who will be from outside the region, and three other members from the same region."
The revamped format has introduced new award categories for audiography, music direction, screenplay and dialogues.
The format for the international film awards has also increased the number of international entries from 15 films to 18. And to extend the international competition, countries in North America and Europe have also been added, besides the existing continents like Asia, Africa and South America, besides the Asia-Pacific region.
"So far, we had only three awards for best film, best director and special jury award. But now we have added two more awards which are best actor and best actress respectively," said Khan.
Talking about their planning, Khan added: "We regularly organise festivals under two categories - cultural exchange programmes and special retrospectives. A festival on music is slated to begin Friday which will screen movies like `Umraao Jaan` and `Bobby`.
"After this, next week we are having a festival of animation films from Japan. Then a festival of World War II films from America and Japan. Then a retrospective of Uttam Kumar. Following which we have the National Film Awards in October and the International Film Awards in November."