36th National Film Awards
Awarded forBest of Indian cinema in 1988
Awarded byDirectorate of Film Festivals
Presented byR. Venkataraman
(President of India)
Presented on31 May 1989 (1989-05-31)
Official websitedff.nic.in
Best Feature FilmPiravi
Best Non-Feature FilmKanaka Purandara
Best BookThe Moving Image
Best Film CriticManmohan Chadha
Dadasaheb Phalke AwardAshok Kumar
Most awardsDaasi (5)

The 36th National Film Awards, presented by Directorate of Film Festivals, the organisation set up by Indian Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, India to felicitate the best of Indian Cinema released in the year 1988.[1] Ceremony took place in 1989.


Awards were divided into feature films, non-feature films, and books written on Indian cinema.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Award Image Awardee(s) Awarded as Awards
Dadasaheb Phalke Award Ashok Kumar Actor Swarna Kamal, 100,000 and a shawl

Feature films

Feature films were awarded at All India as well as regional level. For 36th National Film Awards, a Malayalam film, Piravi won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film whereas a Telugu film, Daasi won the maximum number of awards (5). Following were the awards given in each category:[1]


A committee headed by Tapan Sinha was appointed to evaluate the feature films awards. Following were the jury members:[1]

All India Award

Following were the awards given:[1]

Golden Lotus Award

Official name: Swarna Kamal[1]

All awardees receive the Golden Lotus Award (Swarna Kamal), a certificate and cash prize.

Award Film Language Awardee(s) Prize
Best Feature Film Piravi Malayalam Producer: S. Jayachandran Nair 50,000/-
director: Shaji N. Karun 25,000/-
Citation: For creative evocation of human pathos with refined cinematic sensitivity.
Best Debut Film of a Director Trishagni Hindi Producer and Director: Nabendu Ghosh 25,000/- Each
Citation: For excellent exploration of complex philosophical theme for the first time in Indian cinema.
Best Film Providing Popular and Wholesome Entertainment Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak Hindi / Urdu Producer: M/s Nasir Hussain Films 40,000/-
Director: Mansoor Khan 20,000/-
Citation: For presenting fresh and clean charm on celluloid with discerning imagination.
Best Children's Film Manu Uncle Malayalam Producer: Joy Thomas 30,000/-
Director: Dennis Joseph 15,000/-
Citation: For endearing and hilarious picturisation which promotes a sense of adventure among children.
Best Direction Piravi Malayalam Shaji N. Karun 50,000/-
Citation: For remarkable success in accomplishing fusion of various elements and creating new heights of cinematic aesthetics.
Silver Lotus Award

Official name: Rajat Kamal[1]

All awardees receive the Silver Lotus Award (Rajat Kamal), a certificate and cash prize.

Award Film Language Awardee(s) Prize
Best Feature Film on National Integration Rudraveena Telugu Producer: Nagendra Babu 30,000/-
Director: K. Balachander 15,000/-
Citation: For presenting vertical as well as horizontal social integration on a musical plane and thus offering a cultural revolution as solution to maladies of the rural population.
Best Film on Other Social Issues Main Zinda Hoon Hindi Producer: NFDC and Doordarshan 30,000/-
Director: Sudhir Mishra 15,000/-
Citation: For portraying with redeemed finesse the saga of the agony of the middle class working woman.
Best Actor Piravi Malayalam Premji 10,000/-
Citation: For excellence in restrained performance.
Best Actress Daasi Telugu Archana 10,000/-
Citation: For the convincing portrayal of a 1925 Telanga Dasi girl who was subject to total exploitation.
Best Supporting Actor Raakh Hindi Pankaj Kapoor 10,000/-
Best Supporting Actress Ek Din Achanak Hindi Uttara Baokar 10,000/-
Citation: For playing the difficult role of a wife caught in the midst of unique social and psychological predicament.
Best Child Artist Salaam Bombay! Hindi Shafiq Syed 5,000/-
Citation: For the natural ease with which he has portrayed a slum child.
Best Male Playback Singer Rudraveena Telugu S. P. Balasubrahmanyam 10,000/-
Citation: For bringing playback singing a rare depth of emotion adorned by his command of classical idiom.
Best Female Playback Singer Vaishali Malayalam K. S. Chithra 10,000/-
Citation: For her clear and tuneful rendering of the song.
Best Cinematography Daasi Telugu Apurba Kishore Bir 10,000/-
Citation: For high technical excellence and creative participation in evolving the basic statement.
Best Screenplay In Which Annie Gives It Those Ones English Arundhati Roy 10,000/-
Citation: For capturing the anguish prevailing among students of professional institutions.
Best Audiography Piravi Malayalam T. Krishnan Unni 10,000/-
Citation: For creatively helping to capture and sustain the delicate seasonal and emotional mood of the film.
Best Editing Raakh Hindi A. Sreekar Prasad 10,000/-
Citation: For his precise use of time and juxtaposition in bringing out creatively the internal turmoil of a modern youth.
Best Art Direction Daasi Telugu T. Vaikuntham 10,000/-
Citation: For his minute care and concern for detail of prop and decor, creating a period locale which becomes an amalgamated part of the film enhancing its aesthetic value.
Best Costume Design Daasi Telugu Sudharshan 10,000/-
Citation: For his tender handling of warped fabric and jewellery with correct hues and authenticity.
Best Music Direction Rudraveena Telugu Ilaiyaraaja 10,000/-
Citation: For creating an innovative score which brings out the splendour of classical tradition and blends it beautifully with modern sensibilities.
Best Lyrics Vaishali Malayalam O. N. V. Kurup 10,000/-
Citation: For the rare poetic heights reached in all lyrics in the film.
Special Jury Award Vasundhara Hindi Ashok Ahuja (director) 5,000/-
Citation: For the sensitive and compulsive evolution of the much needed love for the eco-system and for defining the role of humanity in saving mankind and nature from devastation.
Special Mention  • Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak
 • Raakh
Hindi Aamir Khan (Actor) Certificate only
Citation: For the imaginative, innovative and promising performance of character roles in the films.

Regional awards

The award is given to best film in the regional languages in India.[1]

Award Film Awardee(s) Prize
Best Feature Film in Assamese Kolahal Producer: Bhabendra Nath Saikia 20,000/-
Director: Bhabendra Nath Saikia 10,000/-
Citation: For taking up the bold theme of the struggle of a deserted woman caught between convection and the desire to live.
Best Feature Film in Hindi Salaam Bombay! Producer: NFDC, Mirabai Films and Doordarshan 20,000/-
Director: Mira Nair 10,000/-
Citation: For exploring the tragic realities of life for the homeless children and women and those enmashed by drugs.
Best Feature Film in Kannada Bannada Vesha Producer: Doordarshan 20,000/-
Director: Girish Kasaravalli 10,000/-
Citation: For superb blend of different departments of film-making to bring out lyrically the predicament of performing artiste and his quest for identity.
Best Feature Film in Malayalam Rugmini Producer: S. C. Pillai and Gigy Abraham 20,000/-
Director: K. P. Kumaran 10,000/-
Citation: For compassionate depiction of the human condition permeating the dark realities of a social evil.
Best Feature Film in Oriya Kichi Smruti Kichi Anubhuti Producer: K. Jagadeswari 20,000/-
Director: Manmohan Mahapatra 10,000/-
Citation: For the cinematic depiction of the past, present and future of the psyche of a representative village.
Best Feature Film in Telugu Daasi Producer: B. Ramachandra Rao 20,000/-
Director: B. Narsing Rao 10,000/-
Citation: For portraying the grim reality of a feaudal milieu through original and rare use of film language.

Best Feature Film in Each of the Language Other Than Those Specified in the Schedule VIII of the Constitution

Award Film Awardee(s) Prize
Best Feature Film in English In Which Annie Gives It Those Ones Producer: Pradip Krishen 20,000/-
Director: Pradip Krishen 10,000/-
Citation: For portrayal of the agonies and aspiration of the present day student community in excellent cinematic language.

Non-feature films

Short films made in any Indian language and certified by the Central Board of Film Certification as a documentary/newsreel/fiction are eligible for non-feature film section.


A committee headed by Homi Sethna was appointed to evaluate the non-feature films awards. Following were the jury members:[1]

Golden Lotus Award

Official name: Swarna Kamal[1]

All the awardees receive the Golden Lotus Award (Swarna Kamal), a certificate and cash prize.

Award Film Language Awardee(s) Prize
Best Non-Feature Film Kanaka Purandara Kannada Producer: Girish Karnad for Films Division
Director: Girish Karnad
15,000/- Each
Citation: For communicating, through the lives of Kanakadas and Purandaradas, the many facets of Bhakti, transcending all barriers of caste and creed, encompassing the love of man for man and man for God, using an [sic] unique fusion of different elements of cinema of the documentary genre.

Silver Lotus Award

Official name: Rajat Kamal[1]

All the awardees receive the Silver Lotus Award (Rajat Kamal) and cash prize.

Name of Award Name of Film Language Awardee(s) Cash Prize
Best Anthropological / Ethnographic Film Maa Oru Telugu Producer: B. Ramachandra Rao
Director: B. Narsing Rao
10,000/- Each
Citation: For recalling with nostalgia the life of a village community of the fifties in Telangana and does so with sensitivity and a graphic lyricism.
Best Arts / Cultural Film Scroll Painters of Birbhum (Patua) English Producer: Dilip Ghosh and Biswanath Bose
Director: Raja Mitra
10,000/- Each
Citation: For portraying with sensitivity and insight the vanishing tribe of the Muslim scroll painters whose essentially secular art harmonises painting and singing.
Best Scientific Film (including Environment and Ecology) Reconstructive Surgery Leprosy (Hand) English Producer: Jal Mehta
Director: Anil Revankar
10,000/- Each
Citation: For its meticulous and credible account of the reconstructive surgery on disfigured and disabled hands, evoking confidence in the scientific method and in indigenous endeavour.
Best Industrial Film The Duo English Producer and Director: Sanat Kumar Dasgupta 10,000/- Each
Citation: For capturing with economy and precision the mass production of ceramic and glassware in exquisite photographic detail.
Best Agricultural Film Seeds of Hope English Producer: M/s Eco Media Pvt Ltd.
Director: Romulus Whitaker and Shekar Dattatri
10,000/- Each
Citation: For its profound and intimate plea for afforestation, transcending the purely instructional aspects of the production of quality seeds and saplings.
Best Film on Social Issues Voices from Baliapal English Producer: M/s Vector Productions
Director: Vasudha Joshi and Ranjan Palit
10,000/- Each
Citation: For the meticulousness of its investigation and the clarity and conviction with which it carries the story of the non-violent resistance of the people of Baliapal against the establishing of a missile testing range of their rich and fertile lands.
Best Educational / Motivational Film Chitthi Hindi Producer: M/s Cinemart Foundation
Director: Suhasini Mulay
10,000/- Each
Citation: For its authentic and poignant enactment of the problem of illiteracy that is treated with compassion and gentle humour.
Best News Review More Than A Success Story
(News Magazine No. 129)
English Producer: Biren Das for Films Division
Director: K. B. Nair
10,000/- Each
Citation: For going beyond the limitations of the news film format to tell the inspiring and moving stories of those who triumphed over their socic-economic circumstances and physical diabilities.
Best Short Fiction Film The Story of Tiblu Idu Mishmi Producer: Santosh Sivan for Films Division
Director: Santosh Sivan
10,000/- Each
Citation: For telling the story of a spirited young tribal girl who comes into her own in the alien environment of an urban school, while retaining the innocence and sensitivity bred of living close to nature; and for capturing the freshness and spontaneity of its tribal actors in real life locations with enduring simplicity.
Best Film on Family Welfare Lacchmi Hindi Producer: K. K. Garg for Films Division
Director: Om Prakash Sharma
10,000/- Each
Citation: For weaving a powerful family welfare message into a credible story told simply and gently.
Nirnay Hindi Producer: B. R. Shedge for Films Division
Director: R. R. Swamy
Citation: For the clarity and simplicity with which, making effective use of both animation and live action, it communicates aspects of sterilisation, evoking confidence in its procedures.
Special Jury Award Before My Eyes Only Music Mani Kaul 5,000/-
Citation: For capturing the texture of Kashmir's landscape with a rare control over cinematic form that combines visual poetry with an effective use of sound on a track that uses no commentary.
Special Mention Dispossession English N. H. Prasad Certificate Only
Citation: For its fresh and innovative experimentation with cinematic form, dealing with an unusual theme.

Best Writing on Cinema

The awards aim at encouraging study and appreciation of cinema as an art form and dissemination of information and critical appreciation of this art-form through publication of books, articles, reviews etc.


A committee headed by Chidananda Dasgupta was appointed to evaluate the writing on Indian cinema. Following were the jury members:[1]

Silver Lotus Award

Official name: Rajat Kamal[1]

All the awardees receive the Silver Lotus Award (Rajat Kamal) and cash prize.

Award Book Language Awardee(s) Prize
Best Book on Cinema The Moving Image English Author: Kishore Vallicha
Publisher: Orient Longman
Citation: For its analytic insights and its plausible theoretical framework.
Best Film Critic Hindi Manmohan Chadha 5,000/-
Citation: For the seriousness of his approach and the wide compass of his thoughts.

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 h i j k l m "36th National Film Awards" (PDF). Directorate of Film Festivals. Archived (PDF) from the original on 9 November 2018. Retrieved 2 September 2020.