Palamau film-maker Sriram Dalton (34) received the Rajat Kamal from President Pranab Mukherjee at the 61st National Film Awards function held at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi, on Saturday.
Sriram’s 10-minute film The Lost Behrupiya won the award in the “Best Arts/Cultural Film” category jointly with English-Telugu film Oh Friend, This Waiting!
Medallion and certificate apart, the award comes with a cash prize of Rs 50,000 each for the director and the producer of the film. Sriram and The Lost Behrupiya’s producers Hollybull Entertainment shared the sum with the team of Oh Friend, This Waiting!
“It was an overwhelming experience to receive the national award from the President. I also got the opportunity to meet Gulzar sa’ab (poet, lyricist and film director), who bagged the Dadasaheb Phalke award this time,” Sriram said over phone.
Sriram’s film captures the plight of the behrupiyas, nomadic performers who dress up as mythological characters to entertain people in a changed world dominated by technology.
The traditional art form is on the threshold of extinction in a world of television and the Internet.
In a media release after the awards were announced on April 16, the Union ministry of information and broadcasting had said why Sriram’s film had made the cut: “For a near surreal depiction of a dying art form in a globalised society. The film combines elements of drama and visual art with a lament for a rich cultural tradition.”