64th National Film Awards: Regional cinema outshines Bollywood
Only one top honour -- Best Actor -- went to Akshay Kumar for Hindi movie Rustom, leaving much of Bollywood wondering why movies like Dangal and Aligarh were left out.bollywood Updated: Apr 20, 2017 07:58 IST
In a turnaround from last year, regional cinema talent dominated Bollywood presence in the winners’ list of the 64th National Film Awards announced here on Friday.
Only one top honour -- Best Actor -- went to Akshay Kumar for Hindi movie Rustom, leaving much of Bollywood wondering why movies like Dangal and Aligarh were left out.
The Best Hindi film award went to Neerja.
“Bollywood films have not lost, but the regional cinema has excelled,” said the feature films’ jury chairperson Priyadarshan.
“Dangal missed out because of the powerful regional films. It’s not because of anything else. Some of the Marathi and Bengali films were brilliant and better,” he added.
Perhaps the discretion was similar for Hansal Mehta’s Aligarh, which made a pertinent point on LGBT rights. Mehta expressed disappointment.
The six 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 was named the Best Feature Film; filmmaker Rajesh Mapuskar was named as the Best Director for Ventilator -- a Marathi production by Bollywood star Priyanka Chopra; 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’s Hindi movie Dhanak won the Best Children’s Film.
Malayalam actress Surabhi C.M. was announced the Best Actress for Minnaminungu - the Firefly, and she was ecstatic upon hearing the news.
Akshay was humbled by his first National Film Award, and dedicated his win to his family and wife, who said she is going through mixed emotions.
Priyadarshan said Akshay and Mohanlal were the main two contenders for the Best Actor honour, but Mohanlal was instead chosen for a Special Jury Award for his performance in three films.
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 actors Sonam Kapoor for Neerja and Adil Hussain for Mukti Bhawan and Maj Rati Keteki.
Sonam said the honour was unexpected but overwhelming, and she was also upbeat because Neerja -- a real life inspired tale of an air-hostess who gave up her life to save passengers aboard a hijacked flight at Karachi -- was named the Best Hindi film.
Other key awards included: Best Special Effects for Shivaay (Naveen Paul), Best Animation Film for Mahayoddha Rama, 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 has been constituted for Best Action Director (Stunt Choreography), which went to Peter Hein for Malayalam film Pulimurugam.
Last year, an award for the Most Film Friendly State was introduced and Gujarat had won the honour. This time, Uttar Pradesh has won for implementing film policies which include various measures to create a suitable environment for film production. A special mention in the same category was given to Jharkhand.
The awards were also announced for the non-feature film category and for best writing on cinema.