Celebrated In: India
The Filmfare Awards are presented annually by The Times Group to honour both artistic and technical excellence of professionals in the Hindi language film industry of India.
The Filmfare ceremony is one of the oldest and most prominent film events given for Hindi films in India. The awards were first introduced in 1954, the same year as the National Film Awards. They were initially referred to as the Clare Awards or The Clares after the editor of The Times of India, Clare Mendonca. A dual voting system was developed in 1956.
Under this system, "in contrast to the National Film Awards, which are decided by a panel appointed by Indian Government, the Filmfare Awards are voted for by both the public and a committee of experts. The Filmfare Awards have been often referred to as the Hindi film industry's equivalent to Oscars.
The Filmfare awards were first introduced in 1954. The Clares was the original name of the award ceremony, named after The Times of India critic Clare Mendonca. Readers of Filmfare were polled to decide the winners, and over 20,000 readers spread throughout India participated in the polls; trophies were given to winners of the popular vote.
In the first awards function, held on 21 March 1954 at the Metro Theatre of Mumbai, only five awards were presented: Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Music Director. Do Bigha Zameen was the first movie to win the award for Best Film. The first winners for other four categories were: Bimal Roy for his direction of Do Bigha Zameen, Dilip Kumar for his performance in Daag, Meena Kumari for her performance in Baiju Bawra, and Naushad for his music in Baiju Bawra.
Hollywood star Gregory Peck was invited to be the guest of honour at the first ever awards on March 21, 1954 at the Metro theatre, Mumbai 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 night at Wellington Club(Gymkhana), Mumbai
The winners for the year 1985 were announced in 1986 and the event was scheduled to be held at the Brabourne Stadium in December 1986. Unfortunately the Bombay film Industry, as was known then went on strike in '86 because of its many contentious issues with the Maharashtra Government. So the ceremony was pushed to the next year. The winners of 1985 were awarded on 28 January 1987. Due to Security reasons, filmfare was not awarded for 1987 and 1988
The statuette, depicting a woman whose arms uprise in a dance number with her fingers touching, is commonly referred to as "The Black Lady" (or "The Lady in Black"). Originally designed by N.G. Pansare under the supervision of Times of India's art director Walter Langhammer, it is generally made of bronze, its height is 46.5 cm and it weighs around five kgs. To celebrate the 25th year of the awards, the statues were made in silver and to celebrate the 50th year the statues were made in gold. The trophy is currently manufactured by The Award Gallery.