With over 300 films from 26 languages vying for the prestigious 64th National Film Awards, the winners were announced in Delhi on Friday. While Akshay Kumar won the Best Actor award for his portrayal of a patriotic naval officer in Rustom, Surabhi Lakshmi was named Best Actress for her role in the Malayalam film Minnaminungu — The Firefly. The jury described her performance as “brilliant” and Kumar, it stated, presented “perfect portrayal of a character caught in personal and social turmoil”.
The awards in the other top categories went to Marathi film Kaasav, which bagged the Best Feature Film award, while Fireflies in the Abyss won the same award in the non-feature film category. Bollywood hit Neerja picked up the Best Hindi Film award and Pink was pronounced the Best Film on Social Issues. Zaira Wasim was announced Best Supporting Actress for her role in Dangal. The jury said that Wasim played the role of a
female sportsperson battling with the society “with utmost maturity”. Best Supporting Actor award went to Manoj Joshi for Marathi film Dashakriya, which also won the Best Marathi Movie award. The jury members made a special mention for Sonam Kapoor for her performance in Neerja and Adil Hussain for his work in Mukti Bhawan and Maj Rati Keteki.
Filmmaker Priyadarshan was the chairperson of the jury in the feature films category while cinematographer and writer Raju Misra held the same position in the non-feature category.
This year, a new award has also been instituted to give recognition to the most film-friendly state. A panel led by Telugu film director Radha Krishna Jagarlamudi declared Uttar Pradesh as the winner of the inaugural award, and Jharkhand got a special mention.