Cinematographic maestros rose to receive the highest national acclaim for their contribution to the industry at the 63rd National Film Awards ceremony held at Vigyaan Bhawan in New Delhi on May 3 laying the stage to present the nation’s honor to various Bollywood veterans and debutants.
Amitabh Bachchan rose to the occasion to claim his fourth national award, for Piku as best actor. Amitabh, who has earlier been awarded thrice for films “Agneepath”, “Black” and “Paa”, was cheered by his wife Jaya, son Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan who were present at the event.
Accompanied by her family, Queen star Kangana Ranaut was honored with best actress for her role in Tanu Weds Manu Returns. Kangana’s father Amardeep Ranaut exclaimed that it was a proud moment to see his daughter receive her third National Award from the President. She looked breathtaking in an off-shoulder shimmery light blue gown, instead of traditional clothes usually opted by celebrities at such events.
Historically since 2012, the ceremony is held on May 3 to commemorate the release date of the first Indian movie, Raja Harishchandra, by Dada Saheb Phalke. The 47th Dada Saheb Phalke Award was given to the veteran actor and director Manoj Kumar, for his contribution towards branding the idea of patriotism in his films. Starting his career in 1957, he is famous for his patriotic roles in films like Jai Jawan Jai Kisan, Purab Aur Paschim and Shaheed.
Awarded movies of mention are SS Rajamouli’s Baahubali as the surprise best feature film, and Sharat Katariya’s debut Dum Laga Ke Haisha as best Hindi film. Sanjay Leela Bhansali received the honour of best director for his romantic drama Bajirao Mastani, while Salman Khan starring Bajrangi Bhaijaan was named best popular film providing wholesome entertainment. The awards have been criticized for honoring mainstream films such as Baahubali and Bajirao Mastani while ignoring other critically acclaimed works.
Monali Thakur, who won the Best Female Playback Singer for the song “Moh moh ke dhaage” from “Dum Laga Ke Haisha” and Mahesh Kale, who won the Best Playback Singer (male) for the Marathi film “Katyar Kaljat Ghusli” decked up the programme with beautiful performances.
At the gala, other attendees included Kalki Koechlin who won the special jury award, Remo D’Souza who received best choreography, Tanvi Azmi and Varun Grover.