x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Stars shine at Indian National Film Awards

Gulzar became the 45th recipient of the country's highest gong in film: the Dada Saheb Phalke Award.

The Indian president Pranab Mukherjee, centre, presents The Dadasaheb Phalke, the highest award in the field of Indian cinema, to the Indian poet and filmaker Gulzar, right, during the 61st National Film Awards ceremony in New Delhi. AFP PHOTO / RAVEENDRAN
The Indian president Pranab Mukherjee, centre, presents The Dadasaheb Phalke, the highest award in the field of Indian cinema, to the Indian poet and filmaker Gulzar, right, during the 61st National Film Awards ceremony in New Delhi. AFP PHOTO / RAVEENDRAN

The Indian president Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday handed out awards to cinematic talent from around the country at the 61st National Film Awards ceremony held in New Delhi earlier this week.

As many as 41 gongs were given away in the non-feature film category; 40 awards were distributed in feature film category; and three awards were bestowed for Best Writing, at the ceremony, hosted by the actress and singer Raajeshwari Sachdev and the news anchor Rini Simon Khanna.

The event was held on Saturday at the capital’s Vigyan Bhawan, with live performances by Rupankar and Bela Shinde – they bagged Best Male Playback Singer and Best Female Playback Singer, respectively.

The veteran lyricist Gulzar was present to receive the coveted Dada Saheb Phalke Award. The poet, who has also excelled as a director, screenwriter, producer and poet, became the 45th recipient of the gong, conferred by the Government of India for outstanding contribution to the growth and development of Indian cinema. Ship of Theseus, produced by Recyclewala Films Pvt Ltd. and directed by Anand Gandhi, was named Best Feature Film, while Rangbhoomi won Best Non-Feature Film.

The Indira Gandhi Award for Best Debut Film by a director was given to Nagraj Manjule for the Marathi movie Fandry, for which Somnath Avghade won Best Child Artist, shared with Sadhana for the Tamil film Thanga Meengal.

Rajkummar Rao and Suraj Venjaramoodu shared Best Actor for their performances in the Hindi film Shahid and the Malayalam film Perariyathavar, while Geetanjali Thapa won Best Actress for the Hindi film Liar’s Dice.

Best Popular Film went to Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, a biopic on former athlete Milkha Singh.

Jolly LLB won Best Hindi Film. Produced by Fox Star Studios, the movie, a comical satire on the country’s legal system, is directed by Subhash Kapoor.

The Nargis Dutt Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration went to the Tamil film Thalaimuraigal.

The Special Jury Award was given to the Marathi film Yellow and the Hindi film Miss Lovely.