President Pratibha Patil will give away the 57th national film awards here today.

The highlight of the awards has been the institution of new award categories based on the recommendations of the expert committee set up under Shyam Benegal and other eminent film personalities and experts.

The mandate given to the committee, constituted by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting was to re-invent the national film awards with a view to making them more contemporary.

The cash prize for several awards in both feature films and non-feature films categories have been increased from the previous years. The special jury award for feature films has been raised from Rs.1,25,000 to Rs.2,00,000.

The awards for 2009 have been announced in three categories best feature film category under the chairpersonship of Ramesh Sippy, non-feature film category under the chairpersonship of Mike Pandey, and best writing on cinema under the chairpersonship of Samik Bandhopadhyay.

Each regional panel comprised of a chairperson and one member (both of whom would be from outside the region) and three other members from with the region.

The screenings of the regional panel as well as the central jury were held in Delhi.

The central jury comprised of a chairperson plus ten members, of whom five were the chairpersons of the five regional juries.

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