Cinema plays a major role in building a better society and nation, said President Droupadi Murmu at the 68th National Film Awards ceremony here on Friday.
Addressing a gathering after presenting the awards, she said as an audio-visual medium, the influence of films is much wider than other art forms.
"Being an audio-visual medium, the impact of film is more extensive than all other mediums. Drama used to be the most influential audio visual art-medium since ancient times.
"Cinema is not only an industry, it is also a medium of artistic expression of our culture and values ??of life. It is also a medium for connecting our society and nation-building," the president said at the ceremony held at Vigyan Bhawan.
Citing the example of Richard Attenborough's 1982 movie "Gandhi", she said films based on Indian values and personalities can also do good business.
"I believe that good films based on Indian ideals and characters are also successful from the point of view of business... The film earned huge success globally, including in India. The biggest success of that film is that through it the respect for the ideals of the father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi, became more widespread in the world community," she added.
Murmu congratulated the winners of the National Film Awards and Dadasaheb Phalke Award recipient, cinema veteran Asha Parekh.
"I heartily congratulate all the winners of the 68th National Film Awards ceremony. I especially congratulate Asha Parekh ji, who has made an extraordinary contribution to Indian cinema, on being given the Dadasaheb Phalke Award.
"Asha Parekh ji earned immense love from the audience. Our sisters of her generation have made their mark in different fields in spite of many constraints. Honour to Ms Parekh is also an honour for the indomitable female power," she said.
As India celebrates 75 years of Independence, the president encouraged filmmakers and actors to make movies on the life and work of freedom fighters.
"Many countrymen also expect the production of such films, which increase the sensitivity and unity in the society, accelerate the pace of development of the nation and strengthen the efforts of environmental protection.
"I am happy to learn that the films awarded today have highlighted nature and environment, cultural traditions, social issues, family values and other important aspects of our national life," she said.
Murmu said Indian films are welcomed all over the world and there is a need to make more effective use of the country's soft power.
She noted that films made in one region are becoming more and more popular in other regions as well.
"Cinema is tying all people in one cultural thread. This is a big contribution of the film community to society," the president said.