Marathi films once again picked up top awards at the 60th National Film Awards with Vikram Gokhale, Shivaji Lotan Patil and Usha Jadhav winning the Best Actor, Best Director and Best Actress awards respectively. The awards were announced on Monday.
“I was not expecting to win the award,” said Gokhale, a veteran actor and director, who won his first national award for the film ‘Anumati’, which tells the story of a husband who is unwilling to give the consent (Anumati) to pull the plug on his dying wife. The film has received recognition on the international circuit.
“It has been part of several international film festivals and will be shown in 40 different countries,” said Gokhale, who shared the award with actor Irrfan Khan (for Paan Singh Tomar).
A sweeping national achievement is not a first for the Marathi film industry. Last year, films ‘Deool’ and ‘Shala’ also won the top National awards, with the former adjudged the best feature film while actor Girish Kulkarni won the Best Actor award for the same film.
“The [Marathi film] industry is doing very well and is seeing a shining horizon,” said Gokhale. “A lot of educated, young directors and producers are entering the film industry and are keen to watch and learn. They are not like the people with a lot of money who know nothing about the language of film-making,” he added.
Patil, who won the Best Director award for ‘Dhag’, praised the writers and directors of the industry for “coming up with good content”. “Marathi films may not have a lot of money, but they are making people think by telling good stories,” he said.
For Jadhav, who was adjudged the Best Actress for Dhag, the award came as a surprise. “I had the hope and the desire to win the award, but I was shocked when I heard that I had won,” said Jadhav.