The 18th Filmfare Awards was held in Mumbai on April 18, 1971. It was the achievement year for actor Rajesh Khanna and Mumtaz. The 18th Filmfare Award saw the power of women-centric films like ‘Khilona,' ‘Satyakam,' ‘Khamoshi,' and ‘Safar,' where every actor and actresses had performed their role convincingly well. Maximum films of Rajesh Khanna were nominated for one or two awards. However, veteran actor Sanjeev Kumar missed the chance of winning the best actor award for his lunatic role in ‘Khilona’.
Actress Mumtaz received the best actress trophy for her soulful performance as a courtesan-cum-lover in the film ‘Khilona’. She faced competition with Waheeda Rehman for ‘Khamoshi’ and Sharmila Tagore for ‘Safar’. ‘Khilona’ was also selected as the best film of the year. Rajesh Khanna got the best actor award for enacting a double role in Manmohan Desai’s film ‘Sachaa Jhutha’. Even one of Hashish Mukherjee’s best films ‘Satyakam’ could not compete with L.V. Prasad’s ‘Khilona’. ‘Khilona’ was considered as the best film of the year.
Asit Sen got the best director award for directing ‘Safar’ which showed Sharmila Tagore’s life is torn between her lover Rajesh Khanna and suspicious husband Feroz Khan. Like ‘Satyakam’, one better movie ‘Khamoshi’ could not win any award except in the field of black and white cinematography category which went to cinematographer Kamal Bose. ‘Khamoshi’ deserved the best lyricist award for Gulzar and even music director award for Hemant Kumar.
Actor Feroz Khan received best supporting actor for his convincing performance in a film named ’Aadmi Aur Insaan’. Two blockbuster films ‘Johnny Mera Naam’ and ‘Do Raaste’ swept few deserving awards. ‘Johny Mera Naam’ fetched best comic actor for I. S. Johar, best screenplay and editing award for Vijay Anand. Chandrakant Kakodkar got the best story writer award for 'Do Raaste' and Rajinder Singh Bedi got the best dialogue writer award for Satyakam.
Sohanlal Kanwar's ‘Pehchan’ had swept maximum awards in the 19 th Filmfare awards in the different category. Best supporting actress award went to Chand Usmani for her role in film ‘Pehchan’. Music composer Shankar Jaikishan got the best music director trophy. Varma Malik got the best lyricist award, and singer Mukesh got the best male playback award for a same song ’Sabse Bada Nadan’ from the same film Pehchan.
Best female singer award went to Sharda Rajan Iyengar for a cabaret number "Baat Zara Hai Aapas Ki" in the film ‘Jahan Pyar Miley’. O P Ralhan's 'Taalash' fetched best art direction award for Shanti Dass and best sound record award for S.C. Bhambri and B.N Sharma. Jal Mistry got the best cinematographer award (color) for film ‘Heer Raanjha’.