Vice-President Hamid Ansari gave away the 59th Annual National Film Awards at a glittering function here at Vigyan Bhavan on Thursday. Iconic Bengali actor Soumitra Chatterjee was conferred with the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Award,and Vidya Balan got the best actress award for The Dirty Picture,even as regional cinema walked away with most other awards.
Acknowledging the growing influence of the Indian cinema worldwide,Ansari and Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni emphasised that films had become one of the most potent elements of our soft power.
Chatterjee,77,got emotional as he received the honour a Swarna Kamal medallion,a cash prize of Rs 10 lakh and a shawl from Ansari amid a standing ovation. I am not really in a frame of mind to say anything …time and again for the last more than 50 years I have been accepted and loved and made to feel one of their own by my countrymen…They are the reason I have come this far… he said.
Girish Kulkarni won the best actor award for Marathi movie Deool also adjudged the best film,along with Byari. Deools producer and director Abhijeet Gholap and Umesh Vinayak Kulkarni,and Byaris producer and director T H Althaf Hussain and Suveeram received the honours. Kulkarni also accepted the trophy for the best dialogue writer.
It is a huge honour. I have always dreamt of winning the national award. I am lucky to be a part of the industry at a phase when roles are being written for actresses, said Balan,34.
Gurvinder Singh from Punjab received the best director award for Anhe Ghorey Da Daan,which also won other awards. The biggest applause,however,was reserved for the entire children cast of Chillar Party that won the best child actor award,along with Partho Gupte for Stanley Ka Dabba.
The awards for non-feature films and best writing on cinema were also given away.
Noting that the award for the best feature film has been shared by two films from regional languages,Ansari said while more and more foreign films were being dubbed into Hindi and other languages,the same was not happening with domestic films.
The government has decided to hold the flm awards ceremony on May 3 every year to commemorate the release of the first feature film,Raja Harishchandra,made by Dadasaheb Phalke,on the same day a century ago.
The Dirty Picture star is brand ambassador for sanitation
The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation has appointed actress Vidya Balan as brand ambassador to spread awareness about sanitation and cleanliness in the country. Minister Jairam Ramesh announced this in the presence of the actress after a meeting with her here on Thursday.