Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar and Malayalam actress Surabhi have won the awards for Best Actor and Best Actress respectively at the 64th National Film Awards. The jury was headed by director Priyadarshan (feature film category) and cinematographer Raju Misra (non-feature film category). The results were announced at a press conference at the National Media Centre in New Delhi on Friday morning.
Kumar won the award for his portrayal of a senior naval officer who murders his wife’s lover in Tinu Suresh Desai’s Rustom. Surabhi’s portrayal of a young widow in the Malayalam film, Minnaminungu, won her the award. The actress also won the Kerala State Award for the Best Supporting Actress for this role in March.
This year, regional film industries like Marathi, Tamil and Bengali dominated the awards.
Marathi film Kaasav (Turtles), directed by Sumitra Bhave, won the award for the Best Feature Film, while director Aniruddha Roy Chowdhhury’s debut Bollywood film Pink, a critically and commercially successful film on sexual harassment, won the award for the Best Film on Social Issues.
Director Rajesh Mapuskar won the award for Best Director for his Marathi film, Ventilator. The film, which is produced by actress Priyanka Chopra and stars director Ashutosh Gowarikar, also won the awards for editing (Rameshwar S Bhagat) and re-recording.
Young actress Zaira Wasim, who portrayed the teenager wrestler Geeta Phogat in Aamir Khan’s Dangal, won the award for the Best Supporting Actress. Actor Mohanlal won a special jury mention for his roles in the Munthiri Vallikal Thalirkkumbol, Janata Garage, and Puli Murugan.
The jury also named Uttar Pradesh as the most cinema-friendly state, while Jharkhand won a special jury mention in that regard. Uttar Pradesh won the award “For implementing a unique film policy, taking into account that the film medium is not only about entertainment but is also a very important vehicle of employment, social awareness and cultural development.”
Actors Sonam Kapoor and Adil Hussain won special jury mentions for their roles in Neerja and Mukti Bhawan respectively.
Three actors won the award for Best Child Artistes this year – Adish Praveen for Kunju Daivam (Malayalam) b) Nur Islam and Samiul Alam for Sahaj Pather Gappo (Bengali) c) Manohara. K for Railway Children (Kannada). Director Nagesh Kukunoor’s Dhanak won the award for the best children’s film.
Tamil cinema won a number of awards this year. Producer-writer G Dhananjayan won his second National Award for the Best Film Critic, while lyricist Vaira Muthu won the Best Lyrics award for the song “Entha Pakkam” from the film, Joker, which also won the award for the Best Tamil Film. Suriya’s 24 won two awards in the technical category – for Best Cinematography (DoP Thirunavukarasu), and Best Production Design (Subrata Chakraborthy, Shreyas Khedekar & Amit Ray).
This year, an award for Best Stunt Choreographer was introduced for the first time. Peter Hein won the award for his work in Mohanlal’s Puli Murugan. The award for the best non-feature film went to Malayalam documentary Chembai: My Discovery of a Legend, directed by Soumya Sadanandan. Lata Surgatha, a book on the story of legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar, won the award for the best book on cinema.