Hindi movie ‘Shahid’, based on the life of murdered human rights lawyer Shahid Azmi, won the best actor award for actor Rajkummar Rao and the best director award for Hansal Mehta in the 61st National Film Awards announced on Wednesday (April 16).
“It is a wonderful feeling. It is a tribute to Shahid Azmi. It is just his karma which has worked for the film and for us. It’s also a tribute to my team who stood by me for three and a half years while making this film,” Mehta said.
Reacting to the news, Rao said: “I am more than happy. It is the most important day of my life. Never expected this to happen. I am thankful to everyone actually Hansal Mehta, Shahid team and the audience. I am overwhelmed.” He shared the Best Actor award with Suraj Venjaramoodu, who was honoured for his performance in Malayalam movie Perariyathavar.
Among the first to congratulate Rao was his Kai Po Che director Abhishek Kapoor. He tweeted: @raj_kumar31 U Giant of an actor. Congrats on the #nationalaward. V proud if u.
Anand Gandhi directed ‘Ship of Theseus’ was named best feature film at the 61st National Film Award. ‘Gulaabi Gang’ won the award for Best Movie on Social Issues. ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ was named Best Popular film.
Best Actor (Female) went to Geetanjali Thapa for ‘Liar’s Dice’. Best Supporting Actor (Female) was shared by Aida Elkashef (Ship of Theseus) and Marathi actress Amruta Subhash for Astu. Saurabh Shukla was declared the best supporting actor for court-room drama ‘Jolly LLB’, which was also named the best Hindi film.
Indira Gandhi Award for best debut film will go to Marathi director Nagraj Manjule for his critically acclaimed ‘Fandry’. Nargis Dutt Award for best feature film on National Integration will be given to Balu Mahendra directed Tamil film ‘Thalaimuraigal’. The awards were announced by an 11-member jury headed by noted directed Saeed Akhtar Mirza.
In the language category, ‘Ajeyo’ was named the best Asamese film, ‘Bakita Byaktigato’ (Bengali), ‘December 1′ (Kannada), ‘Baga Beach’ (Konkani), ‘North 24 Kaadham’ (Malayalam), ‘Aajcha Diwas Majha’ (Marathi), ‘Thanga Meengal’ (Tamil) and ‘Na Bangaaru Talli’ (Telugu) were other winners. ‘Yellow’ (Marathi) and ‘Na Bangaaru Talli’ were given special mention by the jury. The other language winners were: ‘The Coffin Maker’ (English), ‘RI’ (Khasi), ‘The Crossing Bridges’ (Sherdukpen).
Interestingly, both the original and adapted screenplay awards went to Kannada films. P Sheshadri won the award for his original screenplay in ‘December I’ while Panchakshari won the award for adapting ‘Prakruti’. Best editing went to V J Sabu Joseph for the Tamil sports drama ‘Vallinam’ while best production design was won by ‘Miss Lovely’.