64th National Film Awards 2017: Neerja, Akshay Kumar, Surabhi Lakshmi win top honours
The 64th National Film Awards were announced by the Directorate of Films on Friday, 7 April 2017.
Incidentally, this was the first time that online submissions were invited for the prestigious awards. The jury was headed by veteran filmmaker Priyadarshan. “It’s definitely an honour and a huge responsibility. I have close to 36 years of experience and have made 91 films, so I am hoping to put that to good use,” he had said of chairing the jury.
Last year, the top honours were taken home by Amitabh Bachchan (Best Actor) for Piku and Kangana Ranaut (Best Actress) for Tanu Weds Manu. Baahubali: The Beginning was announced the Best Feature Film, while Salman Khan-starrer Bajrangi Bhaijaan was honoured for providing 'wholesome entertainment'.
The 64th National Awards saw a mix of prizes being given across various categories.
Mohan Agashe's Kaasav — which takes a look at depression and mental health — was named Best Feature Film. The film was lauded for its realistic take on dealing with the pitfalls of loneliness and tells the story of a boy called Manav (Alok Rajwade), who is lost, upset and lonely. He attempts to end his life — and meets his alter ego Janaki (played by Irawati Harshe) who is battling the same issues.
In a surprise move, Akshay Kumar was bequeathed the Best Actor honour for Rustom, loosely based on the infamous Nanavati case. Surabhi Lakshmi won Best Actress for her turn in Minnaminungu.
The jury felt Kumar depicted "a perfect portrayal of a character caught in personal and social turmoil" in Rustom, while Surabhi captured the pain and ecstasy of a mother (living) in a deplorable social condition.
Priyanka Chopra's foray into producing Marathi films with Ventilator proved to be very successful at the 64th National Film Awards 2017: Not only was Rajesh Mapuskar was named Best Director for helming the film, it also won a mention for Best Editing and Best Sound Mixing.
Mapuskar, who also wrote the film, says winning the National Award feels like a dream.
"I'm speechless! Winning a National Award for my debut Marathi film is nothing less than a dream come true. I'm really grateful to the entire team of Ventilator, especially producers Priyanka Chopra and Madhu Chopra, for backing the project and their belief in me," Mapuskar said in a statement.
Neerja — Ram Madhvani's biopic on braveheart PanAm stewardess Neerja Bhanot, which starred Sonam Kapoor in the titular role — was named Best Hindi Film. Sonam also got a special mention for Neerja for her "convincing performance of a real life icon".
She wasn’t the only one: Malayalam superstar Mohanlal was the recipient of a special mention by the jury for his role in the blockbuster Pulimurugan as well.
The Best Supporting Actor category was swept by veteran actor Manoj Joshi (for the Marathi film Dashakriya) while Dangal's young Geeta Phogat, Zaira Wasim was named Best Supporting Actress. Wasim was lauded for portraying "a female sportsperson's battle with society, with utmost maturity".
Pink took home a prize for Best Film with a Social Message. Directed by Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury, produced by Shoojit Sircar, and featuring Amitabh Bachchan and Taapsee Pannu in key roles, the courtroom drama had a strong, socially relevant message about consent and women's rights.
Here is a full list of all the other winners —
- Best Bengali Film: Bisorjon
- Best Kannada Film: Reservation
- Best Marathi Film: Dashakriya
- Best Gujarati Film: Wrong Side Raju
- Best Tamil Film: Joker
- Best Children's Film: Dhanak
- Popular Film: Sathamanam Bhavathi (Telugu)
- Best Environmental Film: The Tiger Who Crossed The Line
- Best Film on Social Issues: I am Jija and Sanath
- Best Short Fiction Film: Abba
- Special Animation Film Award: Hum Picture Banate Hai
- Special Mentions: Kadvi Hawa, Mukti Bhavan, Adil Hussain (for Mukti Bhavan)
- Best Male Playback Singer: Sundara Iyer for Joker
- Best Female Playback Singer: Emaan Chakraborty for Praktan
- Best Special Effect: Shivaay
- Best Lyrics: 'Endha Pakkam' from Dharma Durai
- Best Cinematography: 24
- Best Child Artistes: Kunju Devam, Ardish Praveen and Shaj Pathak
- Best Action Direction: Pulimurugan
- Best Book on Cinema: Lata — Sur Gatha
- Best Movie Critic: G Dhananjayan
- Most Film Friendly State: Uttar Pradesh
Click here to see the complete winners' list, along with short descriptions.
— With IANS inputs