The winners of the 66th National Film Awards will be declared after the 2019 general elections. The update was shared on Wednesday via a press release posted on the website of the Press Information Bureau (PIB), the publicity arm of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. The winners are decided by an independent jury consisting of eminent filmmakers and film personalities and declared in April every year.
But they have been pushed back this year as "elections to the 17th Lok Sabha and the Legislative Assemblies of four states are underway and the awards also include one for the most film-friendly state". "Since the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) is in force, which facilitates level playing field to all political parties and the candidates and inter alia seeks to ensure that the power of media is not used in such a manner which affects the general conduct and level playing field during the election process, it has been decided to declare the awards after the election process is over and the MCC concludes," the statement read.
The seven-phase Lok Sabha elections, which began earlier this month, will run till May 19. The results will be announced on May 23.
The National Film Awards ceremony honours the best of Indian cinema through an event in New Delhi on May 3 every year. The date for this year is yet to be announced.