The 65th National Film Awards were announced today at Shastri Bhawan in New Delhi. The chairpersons of three juries (Feature, Non-feature and Writing) announced the awards in the various categories. Headed by filmmaker Shekar Kapur, the panel included lyricist Mehboob, Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury, Ranjit Das, Rajesh Mapuskar, Tripurari Sharma, Rumi Jaffrey, screenwriter Imtiaz Hussain, South Indian actress Gautami Tadimalla and Kannada director P Sheshadri. While Assamese movie Village Rockstars won the Best Film award, Jayaraj was adjudged the Best Director for his film Bhayanakam.
In the top actors’ categories, Best Actor Male and Female went to Riddhi Sen (Nagarkirtan) and Sridevi (MOM), respectively. This was followed by Malayalam star Fahad Fazil winning the Best Supporting Actor (Male) award for Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum and Bollywood star Divya Dutta bagging the Best Supporting Actor (Female) award for Irada.
India’s official entry to the Oscars this year, Newton might not have made it to the final list at the Academy awards, but it did manage to become the Best Hindi Film at the National Awards. Other best films in various languages include Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum (Malayalam), Kaccha Limbu (Marathi), Hebbettu Ramakka (Kannada) and Ghazi (Telugu) to name a few. Mayurakshi which got the Best Bengali Film award was personally recommended by jury head Shekhar Kapur, who seemed to be a fan of the movie himself.
2017’s biggest film Baahubali: The Conclusion became the Best Popular Film providing wholesome entertainment. It received two more awards – Best Action Direction and Best Special Effects.
In the music category, maestro AR Rahman got two awards – one for the Best Music Direction for Kaatru Veliyidai and other for Best Background Score for MOM. While K J Yesudas was announced the Best Male Playback Singer for his song “Poy Maranja Kalam” in Viswasapoorvam Mansoor, Shashaa Tirupati received the Best Female Playback Singer award for “Vaan” in Kaatru Veliyidai.
In the Special Mentions category, Marathi film Morkiya, Oriya film Hella Aarsi and Malayalam film Take Off were honoured. Actor Pankaj Tripathi, who will next be seen in Super 30, received a Special Mention too for his performance in Newton.
Parvathy starrer take Off also bagged the Best Production Design award. Other awards included Best Choreography to Ganesh Acharya for his work in the PadMan song “Gori Tu Latth Maar”, Best Child Artist to Banita Das for Village Rockstars and the Nargis Dutt Award for Best Film on National Integration to Marathi film Dhappa.
While the Best Non-Feature Film was awarded to Water Baby, the Best Educational Film was given to The Girls We Were and The Women We Are. Best Film on Art and Culture was given to Girija: A life of music. In the category of Best Film on Social Issues, the award was shared by I am Bonnie and Whale Done. Marathi film Mayyat was adjudged the Best Short Film in the fiction category.
The Special Jury Award was won by A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings. Sairat director Nagraj Manjule took home the Best Non-Feature Film Director award. The Fish Curry and Tokri: The Basket won The Best Animation Film.
The 65th National Film Awards will be held on May 3, 2018. The recipients will receive their respective awards from President Ram Nath Kovind.