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Munnabhai magic works, again

The jury can’t have enough of Gandhigiri, it appears. Lage Raho Munna Bhai created history of sorts by becoming the first sequel to win the national award for best popular film in 2006, a feat achieved by the original, Munnabhai MBBS in 2003.
By HT Correspondent | None, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUN 11, 2008 01:00 PM IST

The jury can’t have enough of Gandhigiri, it appears.

Lage Raho Munna Bhai

created history of sorts by becoming the first sequel to win the national award for best popular film in 2006, a feat achieved by the original,

Munnabhai MBBS

in 2003.

The movie that swept the 54 National Awards announced on Tuesday won awards for best lyrics (Swanand Kirkire), best screenplay (Rajkumar Hirani, Vidhu Vinod Chopra and Abhijat Joshi), and best supporting actor (Dilip Prabhavalkar, who portrayed Mahatma Gandhi in the film).

Prabhavalkar got the award for portraying a wide range of emotions in two divergent and equally challenging characters as Gandhi in Lage Raho ... and a benign clerk middle class clerk in the Marathi film Shervi.

The jury headed by filmmaker Buddhadeb Dasgupta awarded the best film award to Pulijanmam, a Malayalam film directed by Priyanandanan. Veteran Bengali actor Soumitra Chatterjee won the best actor award for Podokkhep, while Tamil actress Priyamani won the best actress award for Paruthi Veeran.

In Hindi movies, Madhur Bhandarkar won the best director award for Traffic Signal, while Khosla Ka Ghosla won the award for the best Hindi film in 2006. Kabul Express shared the honours with Malayalam film Ekantham for the best debut directorial venture.

Konkona Sen Sharma won the best supporting actress award for Omkara, which also bagged the special jury award for being an outstanding film synergising an international treatment with an earthy rooted sensibility.

There has been no announcement on the Dadasaheb Phalke Award for outstanding contribution to Indian cinema this time.

Punjabi film Waris Shah-Ishq Da Waris, an evocative portrayal of the rich, musical, Sufi tradition, won four national awards for the best film in Punjabi, best art direction (Rashid Rangrez), best costume designer (Manjit Mann) and best male playback singer for Gurdas Mann. The young director of the film, Manoj Punj, incidentally died soon after the film’s release in late 2006.

The best female playback singer award went to noted vocalist Aarti Anklekar Tikekar for the Konkani film Antarnad, which also won the best music direction award for Ashok Patki, as also the best feature film in Konkani. The film also brought Divya Chahadkar the best child artiste award for portraying a talented child overshadowed by a celebrity mother.

Quest, directed by Amol Palekar, which boldly addresses issues of sexuality, won the award for the best film in English. Noted director Goutam Ghose won the award for best cinematography for the Hindi film Yatra. The Nargis Dutt award for best feature film on national integration was won by Kannada film Kallarli Huvag.

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