My first book on Tamil Cinema, ‘THE BEST OF TAMIL CINEMA: 1931 to 2010’ released in 2011 as a tribute to the film makers who made remarkable films over the years, is the key motivator for me to write this second book.
While working on the revised and updated version of THE BEST OF TAMIL CINEMA, I chanced upon many Tamil films, which won National and International recognition and felt I can bring out a separate book on them, that can become a proud possession of film makers, researchers, people interested in films and common audience. I reviewed the entire list of films, which won the National Film Awards from Government of India and the films that were selected to be screened at the Indian Panorama of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) – considered as an honour to represent the country. As all these films were selected by an eminent jury over the years for both National Film Awards and Indian Panorama, I did not wish to judge and exclude any film based on my view on them and hence included each and every film, which won a National Film Award under any category and the films which were screened at Indian Panorama of IFFI, since the commencement of these awards and recognition in 1953. Along with this I have also included the films which were submitted by Film Federation of India (FFI) to represent the country at the Academy (Oscars) Awards over the years.
During the period 1954 to 2013, one hundred and sixty three (163) Tamil films have won the National recognition under various categories, and each of them is covered in detail in this book.
For the period 1931 to 1953 (pre-National award recognition years), I carefully selected 39 films, which are certainly Pride of Tamil Cinema, with the help of Tamil cinema chronicler, ‘Film News’ Anandan, to represent that period. Thus, this book has information on about 39 films for the period 1931 to 1953 and 163 films for the period 1954 to 2013 (total 202 films) to represent the entire period of Tamil Cinema. Extensive research was done to ensure that not a single film, which won a National or International recognition, is left out in this book.
Along with Feature films, I have also researched the Non-Feature films and Best Writing on Cinema, which won National Film Awards and written about them in a separate section. Details of non-feature films, which were screened at the Indian Panorama of IFFI, were also included in the non-feature films section. Thus, this book is an exhaustive compilation of Tamil films which won National and International recognition in all categories during the period 1953 to 2013.
At National Film Awards and Indian Panorama, the criterion is not commercial success of a film but aesthetic and technical excellence and hence without looking into whether the film was a commercial success or released in theatres, I went by the list of films, which won a National Film Award and, or screened at the Indian Panorama over the years and featured them in this book. Hence, you might find a few films, which you may not have even heard or seen, but have won a National Award for their excellence featuring in the book.