President Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday presented the National Film Awards to this year’s winners who included Bollywood star Akshay Kumar (best actor) and Rajesh Mapuskar (best director) as well as the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke to renowned filmmaker and actor K. Viswanath.
He said he was happy that the 64th edition of the awards represented a “microcosm” of India and celebrates the diversity of languages, customs, religions and culture. “Indian cinema and its diversity convey the underlying spirit of brotherhood, tolerance, acceptance and co-existence,” Mr. Mukherjee said at the ceremony.
Mr. Viswanath became the 48th recipient of the Dadasaheb Phalke award, the highest recognition in Indian cinema, which consists of a golden lotus, a citation, cash prize of ₹10 lakh and a shawl.
Akshay was honoured for his portrayal of a patriotic naval officer in Rustom, a court room drama directed by Tinu Suresh Desai, which is loosely based on the 1959 Nanavati murder case. He received the Rajat Kamal and ₹50,000.
C.M. Surabhi got the best actress award for her role in the Malayalam film Minnaminungu. She received the Rajat Kamal and ₹50,000.
Neerja, directed by Ram Madhvani, was awarded the best Hindi film. It is based on the 1986 hijacking incident during which flight attendant Neerja Bhanot was killed by terrorists while saving passengers. Sonam Kapoor received a special mention for her role in the film.
Amitabh Bachchan-starrer Pink, a female-centric court room drama by Bengali filmmaker Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury, won the award for best film on social issues.
Marathi movie Kasaav led the regional cinema dominance bagging the best feature film honour and was awarded the Swarna Kamal and ₹2,50,000 each to the director and producer.
Kasaav, directed by Sunil Sukhtankar and Sumitra Bhave, revolves around the issue of depression and environment conservation. Veteran actor Mohan Agashe produced the film. Kashmiri actress Zaira Wasim was given the best supporting actress award for her role in Dangal, while Nagesh Kukunoor’s Dhanak was honoured as the best children’s film.
Mapuskar took home the best director award for his film Ventilator. Actor Mohanlal received the Special Jury award for his work in films like Pulimurugan.
The awards for the best male playback singer went to Sundharayyar for Tamil movie Joker for the song ‘Jasmine E’, while the best female playback singer award went to Iman Chakraborty for ‘Tumi Jaake’ from the Bengali film Praktan.