25th National Film Awards
Awarded forBest of Indian cinema in 1977
Awarded byDirectorate of Film Festivals
Presented byNeelam Sanjeeva Reddy
(President of India)
Presented on27 April 1978 (1978-04-27)
SiteN. D. M. C. Indoor Stadium, Talkatora Gardens, New Delhi
Official websitedff.nic.in
Best Feature FilmGhatashraddha
Dadasaheb Phalke AwardNitin Bose
Most awardsGhatashraddha (3)

The 25th National Film Awards, presented by Directorate of Film Festivals, the organisation set up by Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, India to felicitate the best of Indian Cinema released in the year 1977.[1] Ceremony took place on 27 April 1978.


Two different committees were formed for feature films and short films, headed by Ebrahim Alkazi and Ashok Mitra respectively.[1]


Awards were divided into feature films and non-feature films.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Name of Award Image Awardee(s) Awarded As Awards
Dadasaheb Phalke Award Nitin Bose Cinematographer, Director and Screenwriter Swarna Kamal, 40,000 and a Shawl

Feature films

Feature films were awarded at All India as well as regional level. For 25th National Film Awards, a Kannada film, Ghatashraddha won the President's Gold Medal for the All India Best Feature Film also winning the maximum number of awards (three). Following were the awards given in each category:[1]

All India Award

Following were the awards given:[1]

Name of Award Name of Film Language Awardee(s) Cash Prize
Best Feature Film Ghatashraddha Kannada Producer: Sadanand Suvarna Swarna Kamal and 40,000
Director: Girish Kasaravalli Rajat Kamal and 20,000
Citation: For lifting the creative cinema of that region to new levels of artistic excellence, for delicacy of treatment and subtle use of the film medium, for the shifting perspective through which the tragic solution is revealed, for projecting the painful, tremulous transition from innocence to experience, for searing intellectual honesty, for the fusion of all the elements into a form so distinctive as to declare it a masterpiece.
Best Feature Film with Mass Appeal, Wholesome Entertainment and Aesthetic Value Swami Hindi Producer: Jaya Charavarthy Swarna Kamal
Director: Basu Chatterjee Rajat Kamal
Citation: For a taut script, for restrained, mature and dignified performances (especially by Girish Karnad), for meticulous attention to detail, for maintaining the spirit of the original story and translating it into the film medium with effectiveness and grace, for giving an old theme a contemporary relevance, for providing that it is possible to make a film with popular appeal without surrendering psychological truth or artistic values.
Best Children's Film Safed Haathi Hindi Producer: R. A. Jalan, Pratap Agarwal Swarna Kamal and 15,000
Director: Tapan Sinha Rajat Kamal and 10,000
Citation: For a film with which a quiet realism evokes the fascination and mystery of the jungle; for its mature emphasis on the harmonious relationship between man and nature; for the personal empathy portrayed between a child and creatures of the forest; for a story of lyrical charm and gripping adventure which educates even as it entertains children and grown-ups alike.
Best Direction Kanchana Sita Malayalam G. Aravindan Rajat Kamal and 20,000
Citation: For its courageous and uncompromising exploration of an ancient epic through a pronouncedly new cinematic language, for making the camera speak more eloquently than the introspective characters of the Ramayana, for projecting the interior landscape of the protagonists against the vast backdrop of nature, for matching profound philosophical ideas with astonishing evocations of the beauties of the physical world.
Best Screenplay Bhumika Hindi  • Satyadev Dubey
 • Shyam Benegal
 • Girish Karnad
Rajat Kamal and 10,000
Citation: For powerfully recreating the biography of an actress, for its rare, psychological insights and understanding of human relationships, for the complex integration of theme, style and dramatic situation into an engrossing whole, which provokes the spectator into a new awareness of the predicament of the working woman in Indian society.
Best Actor Kodiyettam Malayalam Gopi Rajat Kamal and 10,000
Citation: For an uncanny, truthful and subtle portrayal of a nondescript village character, carrying almost imperceptibly his slow inner transformation through normal tribulations of life into new awakening of consciousness, of feeling and of responsibility, for the artless unfolding of character which is evidence of acting ability of high aesthetic order.
Best Actress Bhumika Hindi Smita Patil Rajat Kamal and 10,000
Citation: For a brilliantly sustained performance, powerful and impassioned, of a complex unconventional character; for the poignant portrayal of a confused woman, harassed, importuned and exploited by the men in her life, driven into a bitter self-questioning loneliness; for vividly drawing the dual roles of woman and actress, the private life and public visage; with rare sensibility and discrimination and a perpetual sense of the ironic.
Best Child Artist Ghatashraddha Kannada Ajit Kumar Rajat Kamal and 5,000
Citation: For depicting with rare sensitivity, a child's growth into awareness of the coarseness and brutality of the adult world, for his silent struggle to retain his innocence and his natural sense of justice; for his poetic evocation of the child's response to the slowly unfolding mysteries of life, the trivial, the brutal and tragic being inextricable elements of human experience.
Best Music Direction Ghatashraddha Kannada B. V. Karanth Rajat Kamal and 10,000
Citation: For employing the resources of sacred and folk music with unerring skill and sensitivity so as to create an atmosphere of subdued pain and loneliness and to lead the poignant theme to its tragic denouement through the tortured process of its unfolding; for the modulation of effects in terms of sound, covering music in all its variegated range within their span, for heightening the mood in each sequence, almost imperceptibly; for creating art at its concealed best.
Best Male Playback Singer Hum Kisise Kum Naheen Hindi Mohammed Rafi Rajat Kamal and 10,000
Citation: For a golden voice, with resonant timbre and charm, highly cultivated to convey the nuances of melodies based on classical and light classical ragas with as much ease and felicity as tunes set to the lilt of light music; for the sheer brilliance of form and content in his powerful interpretations; for a distinctive personal style.
Best Female Playback Singer Pathinaru Vayathinile
("Senthoora Poove")
Tamil S. Janaki Rajat Kamal and 10,000
Citation: For purity of diction and melodic excellence; for emotive suggestiveness and lyrical appeal; for a quality of expression which is intensely moving; for rendering the theme song "Senthoora Poove" with deep feeling, reflecting the romantic dreams of youth, slowly merging into the shadows of tragic destiny.
Best Cinematography (Black and White) Kokila Kannada Balu Mahendra Rajat Kamal and 5,000
Citation: For smooth, crisp and immaculate camera work; for the clear, sensitive and discreet portrayal of beings in the first flush of youth; for seizing with a certain lyrical grace their romantic yearnings, their gay abandon, their zest and effervescence, their charming narcissism; for using the camera creatively to project their languid world of gossamer dreams out of which they are roused by the bitter harshness of reality.
Best Cinematography (Color) Shatranj Ke Khilari Hindi Soumendu Roy Rajat Kamal and 5,000
Citation: For capturing in meticulous detail the opulent splendor of the court of Wajid Ali Shah; for using colour with discrimination and taste to evoke the distinctive decadent flavor of the period and to provide psychological insights into the characters; for projecting the action through a framework of shifting perspectives, thereby providing a movable feast for the eyes, for establishing by pointed contrast the somber hues and subdued functionalism of the environment of General Outram, emphasising by such means the furtive manoeuvring for power; for using the camera to create a visual tapestry, rich in the clash of conflicting events, ideologies and responsibilities.
Best Sound Recording Godhuli Hindi S. P. Ramanathan Rajat Kamal and 5,000
Citation: For recording great clarity and precision, creating a beautifully modulated tone poem of the various elements; of human speech, of atmospheric effects, of natural sound and vision which makes one live within the film; for superb technical quality which helps to enhance the meaning and impact of a thought-provoking film.
Best Editing Inkaar Hindi  • Waman Bhonsle
 • Gurudutt Shirali
Rajat Kamal and 5,000
Citation: For thrilling sequences which are evidence of extraordinary editorial virtuosity, establishing pace and tempo, brilliantly orchestrated in relation to the swift, suspenseful action; for cutting and montage of such dexterous facility as to conceal the skill which enables the dramatic power to explode across the screen from time to time with stunning impact.

Regional Award

The awards were given to the best films made in the regional languages of India. For feature films in Bengali, English, Hindi, Kashmiri, Meitei and Punjabi, award for Best Feature Film was not given.[1]

Name of Award Name of Film Awardee(s) Awards
Best Feature Film in Assamese Sandhyarag Producer and Director: Bhabendra Nath Saikia Rajat Kamal and 10,000
Citation: For investing a simple, almost uneventful story with tragic poignancies, for presenting the intense loneliness and sense of longing of the individual uprooted from village life by eternal economic pressures and cast back into the stagnation and grinding poverty of rural existence by a society which, having used him up; now discards him; for portraying the characters with subtlety and insight and a quiet wry humor lacerating in its irony - all this through actors facing the camera for the first time.
Best Feature Film in Hindi Shatranj Ke Khilari Producer: Suresh Jindal Rajat Kamal and 10,000
Director: Satyajit Ray Rajat Kamal and 5,000
Citation: For the skilful juxtaposing and interweaving of two parallel destinies, the personal and the political; for the setting these against the decadent splendor of the court of Avadh, recreated with a sense of great pictorial beauty and musical charm; for presenting vividly the clash of two cultures, irreconcilable in their distinctive views of the world; for performances of remarkable depth and range, true to the style and flavor of the period.
Best Feature Film in Kannada Tabbaliyu Neenade Magane Producer: B.M. Venkatesh, Chandulal Jain Rajat Kamal and 10,000
Director: Girish Karnad, B. V. Karanth Rajat Kamal and 5,000
Citation: For exploring the conflict between tradition and change in an Indian and Western cultures, for employing the symbol of the sacred cow as a bridge between two civilisations, for the bucolic charm projected through the film's austere setting and particularly through the behaviour of its elderly characters.
Best Feature Film in Malayalam Kodiyettam Producer: Kulathoor Bhaskaran Nair Rajat Kamal and 10,000
Director: Adoor Gopalakrishnan Rajat Kamal and 5,000
Citation: For capturing with an unerring eye for detail the trivia of village life; for presenting through its calculated pace and rhythm a true slice of a rural culture in Kerala; for revealing through seemingly insignificant vignettes the gradual transformation of a casual village drifter into a person of genuine worth and true dignity.
Best Feature Film in Marathi Jait Re Jait Producer: Usha Mangeshkar Rajat Kamal and 10,000
Director: Jabbar Patel Rajat Kamal and 5,000
Citation: For consistently transferring to the film medium a successful fictional work (Thakurwadi by G. N. Dandekar); for high lightening the mutual inconsistencies of love, of the fear of God and of superstition in a simple, innocent community of tribal, for the memorable use of the drum in evoking presence of the God and expressing the inexorable demands of love for a cinematic form which captures the lyricism, the cadence and the lilt of folk culture.
Best Feature Film in Oriya Chilika Teerey Producer: Shyamghan Rai Chaudhari Rajat Kamal and 10,000
Director: Biplab Rai Chaudhari Rajat Kamal and 5,000
Citation: For showing how, brutally oppressed by vested socio-economical interests, but now inspired by a new sense of freedom the fisher folk of Chilka lake cast off the shackles of the past and achieve their liberation for presenting with understanding and compassion the conflict between individual needs and the welfare of the community, for portraying with vigor and intensity the role of Chilka lake as a mother of the people, sharing with them their joys and sorrows.
Best Feature Film in Tamil Agraharathil Kazhutai Producer: Charley John Rajat Kamal and 10,000
Director: John Abraham Rajat Kamal and 5,000
Citation: For bold experimentation in a conservative milieu; for poetic intensity on a variety of levels; for creating a parable set against the orthodoxies and superstitions of a Brahmin village community; for its sympathy with the dumb world of animals and the equally dumb world of handicapped human beings; for the memorable impression it leaves on the minds of the viewers through the striking visual use of the verses of Subramanya Bharati, the first Tamil modernist.
Best Feature Film in Telugu Oka Oori Katha Producer: A. Parandhama Reddy Rajat Kamal and 10,000
Director: Mrinal Sen Rajat Kamal and 5,000
Citation: For successfully transforming Premchand's story "Kafan" into a scathing commentary on rural destitution and social injustice; for projecting through powerful performances of its leading characters, the degradation and brutalisation of human beings, for its sincere commitment to the cause of the downtrodden; for its fervent impassioned appeal to the conscience of humanity.

Non-Feature films

Following were the awards given:[1]

Short films

Name of Award Name of Film Language Awardee(s) Cash Prize
Best Information Film Deshratna Rajendra Prasad Hindi Producer: Arvind Kumar Sinha Rajat Kamal and 5,000
Director: M. Prabhat Rajat Kamal and 4,000
Citation: For an objective account of the national struggle for Independence as reflected in the personal life of India first President. The film is an excellent example of historical documentation, while it portrays with much sensitivity Rajendra Prasad as a human being.
Best Educational / Instructional Film Tobacco Habits and Oral Cancer English Producer: A. V. Films Rajat Kamal and 5,000
Director: Arun Khopkar Rajat Kamal and 4,000
Citation: For its remarkable precision in describing the cause and effect relationship of tobacco habits and oral cancer. It gives a systematic and telling account of a scientific phenomenon and produces an overwhelming impact.
Best Promotional Film
(Non-Commercial and Commercial)
Parvati Hindi Producer and Director: Santi P. Chowdhury Rajat Kamal
Citation: For a sensitive presentation of the generation gap and of the interrelationships of family welfare literacy, self-reliance and modernisation of social attitudes. It is a simple, quiet and compelling story and avoids strident didactic-ism.
Best Experimental Film Samadhi Music only Producer: Film and Television Institute of India Rajat Kamal and 5,000
Director: John Sankaramangalam Rajat Kamal and 4,000
Citation: For achieving a mellifluous blending of the spirit and philosophy of Yoga, with a wealth of detail of practical exercises in an atmosphere of calm contemplation, ennobling music and recitations from the sacred texts.
Best Animation Film Prakriti Ka Niyam Hindi Producer: G. P. Asthana for Films Division Rajat Kamal and 5,000
Animator: V. G. Samant Rajat Kamal and 5,000
Director: B. R. Shendge Rajat Kamal and 4,000
Citation: For successfully projecting the case against early marriage through excellent and emotive art work and animation techniques.
Best Newsreel Cameraman Indian News Review No. 1508 English C. L. Kaul Rajat Kamal and 5,000
Citation: For the breathtaking sweep of his camerawork portraying the faith and emotions of the pilgrims on the hazardous route to the Amarnath Cave, culminating in the final Darshan.
Best News Review Unprecedented Havoc
(Indian News Review No. 1520)
English Films Division Rajat Kamal and 5,000
Citation: For a vivid, visual documentation of the havoc wrought by the cyclonic storm which hit the coastal districts of Andhra Pradesh on 19 November 1977.

Awards not given

Following were the awards not given as no film was found to be suitable for the award:[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "25th National Film Awards" (PDF). Directorate of Film Festivals. Archived (PDF) from the original on 3 January 2020. Retrieved 2 September 2020.