President Confers 64th National Film Awards; Dadasaheb Phalke Award Winner FelicitatedMay 04, 2017 12:14
The 64th National Film Awards, were presented to the winners, by President Mr. Pranab Mukherjee on the 104th anniversary of Indian cinema, in New Delhi yesterday.
Among the winners, included eminent film director and actor, K Viswanath, who received the Dadasaheb Phalke Award recently. Viswanath (87), accompanied by his wife, Jaya Lakshmi received the award with immense pride, and offered “pranaam” (salutation) to his late parents. The Dada Saheb Phalke award winner, further thanked the Almighty, government officials, jury members, and his fans for their love and affection, as the audience gave him as standing ovation, at the Vigyan Bhavan.
The award ceremony witnessed a plethora of talent, from different parts of the country. The President further described the hall at Vigyan Bhavan as “mini India”, representing the unity and integrity, which are unique to the country. Pranab Mukherjee praised how the National Film Award winners, are almost a “microcosm” of the diversity in the country, where several regions, religions, languages, cultures and customs thrive.
Union Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu, who was present at the event said, “the award ceremony is celebration of cinema which is religion of all religions in our nation”. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Make in India” theme is being reflected well in recent movies like “Sultan”, “Dangal” and “Baahubali”. This time, the regional cinema talent dominated over Bollywood in the winners’ list of the awards, added Naidu.
The audience cheered and stood up to applaud when Bollywood star Akshay Kumar took the stage to receive his first National Award. Akshay won the Best Actor honor for “Rustom”, and his wife Twinkle Khanna, who was in the audience seemed emotional. Veteran filmmaker Priyadarshan, who chaired the feature film jury and courted criticism for choosing Akshay as Best Actor, stood by his decision, saying: “People might appreciate or criticize, but the decision of the jury is final, and has to be appreciated. We have given importance to movies with social issues that show our culture, our beliefs and project India. These are the major points we looked into while deciding the winners.”
From Bollywood, there was also actress Sonam Kapoor who won a Special Mention for her role in “Neerja”, which was named the Best Hindi Film. Sonam’s father, Anil Kapoor, who showed child like excitement, as he stood up to capture the special moment, said, ““I am a proud father. She completely deserves the honor. The whole family is proud of Sonam and her film ‘Neerja’.”
Malayalam actress Surabhi C.M. received the Best Actress award for “Minnaminungu – the Firefly” at the evening, which saw performances by Best Playback Singer award winners Sundharayyar and Iman Chakraborty. Surabhi said, “It’s a dream come true moment for me. I am still new in the industry. To get National Award so early feels great.”
Veteran Malayali actor Mohanlal was chosen for a Special Jury Award for his performance in three films, and he got a standing ovation too. The six film industries of the south - Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Tulu and Konkani, bagged a total of 18 awards, while movies from Assam, Bengal, Maharashtra and Manipur also won in different categories.
Marathi film “Kasaav” won the Best Feature Film; filmmaker Rajesh Mapuskar was named as the Best Director for “Ventilator” and the Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment Award was given to Telugu film “Sathamanam Bhavathi”. The Best Film on Social Issues was given to Bollywood film “Pink”, while Nagesh Kukunoor collected the Best Children’s Film honour for “Dhanak”. The Supporting Actors category saw Kashmiri girl Zaira Wasim and Manoj Joshi winning for their performances in “Dangal” and “Dashakriya” respectively. There were special mentions for films “Kadvi Hawa” and “Mukti Bhawan” as well as for actor Adil Hussain for “Mukti Bhawan” and “Maj Rati Keteki”. Adil said, “It really feels good when your work is appreciated. Awards are like a “rasmalai”. I feel happy that I am choosing exciting projects.”
The Best Special Effects went to Naveen Paul for “Shivaay”, while the Best Animation Film was won by “Mahayoddha Rama”. Other awards included: Best Film on Environment Conservation/ Preservation for Manipuri movie “Loktak Lairembee”, Nargis Dutt Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration for Assamese movie “Dikchow Banat Palaax”; and Indira Gandhi Award for Best Debut Film of a Director went to Deep Choudhury for Bengali film “Alifa”.
A new award that has been constituted is Best Action Director (Stunt Choreography), which was won by Peter Hein for Malayalam film “Pulimurugam”. Awards in the non-feature film category and for best writing on cinema were also presented.