65th National Awards: Regional cinema wins three of four top prizes
New Delhi: Regional cinema dominated the 65th National Film Awards which were announced on Friday. Among the four major categories, Sridevi remained the sole Bollywood recipient, posthumously winning the best actress award for her last film, crime thriller Mom.
Riddhi Sen won the best actor award for Bengali drama Nagarkirtan, while Jayaraj won best director for Malayalam drama Bhayanakam. Director Rima Das’s coming-of-age Assamese film Village Rockstars was named the best feature film for 2017.
S.S. Rajamouli’s record-breaking war epic Baahubali 2: The Conclusion won the award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment, besides scoring in technical categories such as action direction and special effects. India’s official entry to the Academy Awards last year, Amit Masurkar’s black comedy Newton, was named the Best Hindi Film. Supporting actor Pankaj Tripathi also won a special mention for his work in the film.
Malayalam movie Aalorukam won the award for the best film on social issues, while Hindi detective thriller Irada emerged as the best film on environment conservation. Actress Divya Dutta won best supporting actress for Irada. A.R. Rahman won the award for the best music for director Mani Ratnam’s romantic drama Kaatru Veliyidai.
Movies such as Walking With The Wind, Sinjar :Valley of the Shadow, Paddayi, Hello Arsi, Kaccha Limbu, Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum, Hebbettu Ramakka, Mayurakshi and To Let emerged as best films in the Ladakhi, Jasari, Tulu, Odiya, Marathi, Malayalam, Kannada, Bengali and Tamil.
Overall, Malayalam cinema dominated the awards this year, with films like Bhayanakam and Take Off receiving multiple accolades.
Veteran actor Vinod Khanna, who died last year, was conferred the Dadasaheb Phalke Award for his contribution to Indian cinema.
Established in 1954, the National Film Awards have been administered by the Directorate of Film Festivals, along with the International Film Festival of India and the Indian Panorama. Apart from being considered the ultimate recognition for films, the awards also hold the distinction of recognizing merit across the country and especially in regional cinema.
Every year, a national panel is appointed by the government to select winning entries which are then awarded by the president at a ceremony held in New Delhi. The jury was chaired by veteran film-maker Shekhar Kapur this year. “The point of these awards is that you go back and watch these films,” Kapur said before announcing the winners.