National Film Awards | Priyadarshan, Kangana, Dhanush bag top honours
Marakar is best feature film, Sanjay Chauhan best director at national film awards event
In what could be seen as a thumbs up to nationalist narratives, Priyadarshan’s Marakar Arbikadalinte Simham was chosen as the Best Feature Film and Sanjay Pooran Singh Chauhan won the Best Director Award for Hindi film Bhattar Hoorain at the 67th National Film Awards announced on Monday in New Delhi.
Manoj Bajpayee and Dhanush have shared the Best Actor Award while Kangana Ranaut has won the Best Actress awards, announced by the chairman of the central panel N. Chandra. The announcement of awards was delayed by almost a year because of the pandemic.
Apart from Mr. Chandra, the press conference was also addressed by chairman of the non-feature films jury Arun Chaddha, chairman most film friendly State jury Shaji N. Karun, and chairman best writing on cinema jury Saibal Chatterjee.
Headlined by Mohanlal, Marakar Arbikadalinte Simham or the Lion of Arabian Sea is a period action drama about a 16th Century Malayali naval chieftain who fought the Portuguese invasion. Chauhan’s film is a dark comedy about the consequences of violent extremism. This is only his second film after Lahore that won him the Indira Gandhi Award for the best debutant director in 2010. Both the films have yet to make it to theatres because of the COVID-19 situation.
While Mr. Bajpayee has been awarded for his measured performance of a retired police constable in Bhonsle, Mr. Dhanush has won it for depicting a range of emotions in Vetrimaaran’s multi-layered revenge drama Asuran. Ms. Ranaut bagged the award for her varied performances in Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi and Panga.
Having been ignored for Aligarh and Gali Guleiyan, it has been a long wait for Mr. Bajpayee after he won the Certificate of Merit for Pinjar in 2003. This is the second National Award for Best Actor for Mr. Dhanush after he won it for Aadukalam in 2011. For Ms. Ranaut, this is her fourth National Award.
The Best Supporting Actor Award went to Vijay Sethupathi for his performance in Tamil film Super Deluxe. Seasoned actress Pallavi Joshi won the Best Supporting Actress Award for The Tashkent Files.
D. Immam got the Best Music Award for his songs in Tamil film Viswasam. Prabuddha Banerjee bagged the Award for the Best Background score in Bengali film Jeyesthaputro.
B. Praak won the Best Playback Singer Award for Hindi film Kesari and Savani Ravindra won the Best Female Playback Singer Award for Marathi film Bardo.
Telugu film Maharishi won the award for the Best Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment. While Sushant Singh Rajput-starrer Chhichore won the Best Hindi Film Award, the Nargis Dutt Award for Best Film On National Integration went to Marathi film Taj Mahal. Mathukuti Xavier won the Indira Gandhi Award for the Best Debut Film of a Director for Malayalam film Helen.
In his speech, Mr Chandra appreciated the emergence of sports film on different disciplines such as kabbadi and basketball. He also expressed satisfaction over filmmakers bringing alive stories of lesser known heroes of Indian history such as Lal Bahadur Shastri and Ahilya Bai Holkar.
The Best Non-Feature Film Award was bagged by Hemant Gaba’s An Egineered Dream. The best voice over/ narration award went to Sir David Attenborough for Wild Karnataka.
Sikkim was awarded as the Best Film Friendly State. The award for the Best Book on Cinema went to Sanjay Suri’s A Gandhian Affair: India’ Curious Portrayal of Love in Cinema.