1st Filmfare Awards
The 1st Filmfare Awards were held on 21 March 1954, honoring the best in Hindi cinema in 1953. That year they were known as Clare Awards, after Clare Mendonca, film critic of The Times of India who had died in the same year.
|1st Filmfare Awards|
|Date||21 March 1954 |
|Site||Metro Cinema, Bombay|
|Best Film||Do Bigha Zamin|
|Most awards||Baiju Bawra (2)|
In a short ceremony held at Metro Cinema in Bombay (now Mumbai), awards in only 5 categories were handed out. The Chief Guest of function was George Allen, US Ambassador to India. The ceremony was compared by actor David, and it started with actress Nalini Jaywant singing the national anthem. This was followed by song and dance performance by various actors, musical performances by Talat Mehmood, Geeta Roy and Mohammed Rafi. Next two performance were classical dance performances by Vyjayanthimala and Surya Kumari. The finale of the performance section was a folk-dance performance, "Lure of Rajasthan" by Kamini Kaushal and her troupe.
This led to the section where David announced the awards. No nominations were announced, just the winners. Keep with the voting process, where the readers of the magazine, decided the winners through postal votes, even the awards were given away by readers, chosen via a lucky draw. For example, the Best Film trophy was given by Ambassador Allen to a reader, Saijuddin from Hyderabad, who in turn presented it to Bimal Roy. This was followed by Best Actress which was won by Meena Kumari for Baiju Bawra, Best Actor went to Dilip Kumar for Daag. Next, Ace music director Naushad won his first and only Filmfare Award. The final award Best Director was won by Bimal Roy, present by Sonny Cordiero, a reader from Mumbai.
Incidentally, Bimal Roy and Dilip Kumar were the first winners of the Filmfare Award for Best Director and Filmfare Award for Best Actor respectively, and remained almost six decades later, the ones with the most wins in either category. Fearing similar mob of fans, as outside Metro theatre, the venue of award party was not announced publicly. Later around hundred invitees gathered at the Wellington Gymkhana Club.
Hollywood star Gregory Peck was invited to be the guest of honour at the awards but couldn't make it to the function since his flight from Colombo got delayed. However, Peck did attend the banquet that followed the award nite at Wellington Gymkhana Club, Mumbai.
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