National Film Awards were distributed by the President of India. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting presented this program. The 6th award program held in the end of April 1959. It was featured to appreciate the films of 1958. The award function was hosted at Vigyan Bhavan and the prizes were distributed by Dr.
Rajendra Prasad. Awards were distributed under various categories.
The President’s Gold Medal award was won by Sagar Sangamey (Bengali) movie produced by De Luxe Film Distributors and directed by
Debaki Bose. This movie won the cash prize of 20 thousand and the gold medal. The Bengali film Jalsaghar won the Certificate of Merit for the feature film produced and directed by
Satyajit Ray. It won the cash prize of ten thousand. The Kannada movie
School Master won the third place. It was produced and directed by B. R. Panthalu. Children’s film Virsa and the Magic Doll (English) produced by Little Cinema and directed by Santi. P. Chowdary won the Certificate of Merit.
There was a number of films awarded under the regional awards category. Silver Medal was given to the Assamese movie Ronga Police produced by Kanak with the direction of Nip Barua. Daak Hakhara by Agragami productions was certified as the best movie in Bengali. The Hindi movies Madhumati, Lajwanti and Karigar won Silver Medal and Certificates produced by
Bimal Roy, Mohan Segal and Vasant Joglekar respectively. Nairu Pidicha Pulivalu and Randidangazhi were the certified films in Malayalam produced by Vasudevan and Neela and directed by Bhaskaran and Subramaniam. Anant Mani’s direction Dhakti Jaoo won the award in Marathi category. Thanga Padhumai and Annaiyin Aanai were the best feature films under Tamil category presented by Jupiter Pictures and Ismayil production respectively. Jayanthi and Annapoorna Pictures were recognised for their movies
Pelli Naati Pramanalu and Mangalya Balam in Telugu.
The English documentaries
Radha Krishna and The Story of Dr. Karve produced by Films Division in the direction of Bownagary and Gokhale won the medals and cash awards. Call of the mountains by Chowdarya was known as the best documentary film in Hindi. Now we have various Special Awards and different categories which were not available during that period. Individual work is now appreciated. The Certificates of Merits were discontinued later. This program has now extended till the 63rd National Film Awards. It has served the film industry with tokens of appreciation and laurels.