New Delhi: Doffing its hat to mainstream stars Vinod Khanna and Sridevi, the 65th National Film Awards today recognised their contribution to the Indian cinema by honouring them posthumously with the Dadasaheb Phalke and the best actress awards respectively.
Announcing Sridevi’s name, feature film jury head Shekhar Kapur said the actor was the most deserving candidate.
Sridevi, whose filmography spanned across 50 years and in 300 films in languages such as Tamil, Telugu and Hindi, was recognised for her role of an angry mother seeking justice for her daughter in rape-revenge drama, Mom.
Sridevi’s death, at the age of 54 in February this year, had shocked the country. Kapur had worked with Sridevi in Mr India.
“It was not because of the relationship we shared but because she was the most deserving candidate for her portrayal in Mom,” Kapur said.
Sridevi’s husband Boney Kapoor became emotional when told about her win. “Thank you. I just wish she was here today to see this,” Boney said.
Khanna, one of the biggest stars of Hindi films in the ’70s and ’80s, became the 49th recipient of Dadasaheb Phalke award, Indian cinema’s highest honour. Probably, the only second actor to be named for the honour posthumously after Prithviraj Kapoor.
Awards for regional language films
The jury recognised the diversity in Indian cinema by distributing accolades to films belonging to different regional languages.
Rima Das’ Assamese film Village Rockstars, about the musical aspirations of a village girl, was named the best feature film, besides scoring awards for the best location sound recordist, editing and best child artiste (Bhanita Das).
Jayaraj was named the best director and the best-adapted screenplay writer for his Malayalam film Bhayanakam. It also won the best cinematography award.
Riddhi Sen was recognised as the best actor for Kaushik Ganguly’s Nagarkirtan, which was also bagged awards in multiple categories, such as the best costume, makeup and special jury.
Oscar-winning music composer AR Rahman swept the best music direction category by winning the best songs for the Tamil Film Kaatru Veliyidai and the best background music for the Hindi film Mom.
Sinjar, made in Jasari language, won the Indira Gandhi award for the best debut film of a director to Pampally. It was also recognised as the best film in the Jasari language.
Mainstream blockbuster Baahubali: The Conclusion won national award for the best popular film providing wholesome entertainment, besides being named for special effects and action direction.
Ganesh Acharya won the choreography award for the Hindi film Toilet: Ek Prem Katha.
Hindi film Newton, a dark comedy on Indian democracy, was named the the best Hindi film and a special mention went to its actor Pankaj Tripathi for his portrayal of a cynical CRPF officer Atma Singh. Kapur called Tripathi’s portrayal one of the highlights of the Amit V Masurkar-directed film.
“This is a very important day for me, and an equally important award. I am thankful to the government for recognising my work. When I stepped out of my village, I had the desire of winning a national award someday. I am humbled,” Tripathi said.
Nargis Dutt award for the best feature film on national integration went to the Marathi film Dhappa, while the Malayalam film Aalorumkkam was recognised as the best film on social issues.
Hindi film star Divya Dutta was named the best supporting actress for her role in Irada, which also bagged the award for the best film on environmental conservation/preservation.
“I just heard about it. It is my first national award even though everyone thought I had already won a national award. Today, it has finally come true,” Dutta said.
Fahad Fazil won the best supporting actor for the Malayalam film Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum. The film was also recognised for original screenplay, while the best dialogues went to Odiya film “Hello Arsi”. It was also recognised as the best Odiya film.
Mhorkya, a Marathi film, was adjudged the best children’s film, while the best Marathi film award went to Kaccha Limbu.
Veteran singer K J Yesudas was recognised as the best male singer for his song ‘Poy Maranja Kalam’ in the Malayalam film Viswasapoorva M Mansoor, while the best female singer went to Shashaa Tirupati for the song “Vaan” for Kaatru Veliyidai.
National Award for Mayurakshi recognition of director’s hard work
Veteran actor Soumitra Chatterjee was “pleasantly surprised” this morning when he came to know that Mayurakshi, the film where he essayed the role of a delusional man, has bagged the 65th National Award for Best Bengali Film.
‘Mayurakshi’, a film helmed by director Atanu Ghosh, tells an emotional story about an ailing man’s relationship with his son.
“This award is recognition of director Atanu Ghosh’s hard work. I feel happy for him,” the 83-year old thespian said.
Ghosh, who has received critical appreciation in the past for his films Aborto and Abby Sen, said the national recognition would inspire producers to back films that deliver social messages.
“I have received prestigious awards in the past, including Filmfare East, but Mayurakshi completed the circle with this national honour.”
Actor Prosenjit Chatterjee, who enacted the role of Soumitra Chatterjee’s son in the film, credited the entire team of ‘Mayurakshi’ for the award.
It’s a great and prestigious news to all the members of #Mayurakshi for getting the best Bengali Film in 65th National Award. Thankful to Sekhar Kapoor for recommending the film to Cannes Film Featival. @atanugsh @SudiptaaC @GargiBolchhi
— Prosenjit Chatterjee (@prosenjitbumba) April 13, 2018
The Bengali film industry, referred to often as Tollywood, celebrated the news, too.
— Tollywood Online (@OnlineTollywood) April 13, 2018
Acclaimed filmmaker Shekhar Kapur, the chairperson of the central jury panel for the 65th National Film Awards, made the announcements today in New Delhi.