Amitabh Bachchan receives national award for ‘Paa’

NEW DELHI: Star quotient ruled the National Film Awards presentation ceremony on Friday as superstar Amitabh Bachchan and a host of Bollywood and regional cinema achievers were honoured by President Pratibha Patil here.
Veteran producer D Ramanaidu was conferred with the Dada Saheb Phalke award.

Except veteran musician Illyaraja, who bagged the award for his background score in “Pazhassi Raja”, and Ranjan Palit, who has been awarded for the best voiceover, all other winners were present.

While Bachchan received the best actor award for his performance in “Paa”, relative newcomer Ananya Chatterjee got the best actress award for her role in Bengali film “Abohoman”.

Aamir Khan-starrer “3 Idiots” got the award for the best popular movie.

But it was Malayalam drama “Kutty Srank” which walked away with five awards, including the best feature film.

“Kutty Srank”, with Mammootty in the lead, also won awards for best cinematography, best screenplay, best costume and a special jury recognition which it shared with Bollywood hit “Kaminey” and Malayalam film “Kerala Varma Pazhassi Raja”.

While producer Reliance Big Picture and director Shaji N Karun of “Kutty Srank” received Swarna Kamal and Rs 2.5 lakh each, the producer and director of “3 Idiots” — Vidhu Vinod Chopra and Raj Kumar Hirani got Swarna Kamal and Rs two lakh each.

Bachchan got a standing ovation when he received the Rajat Kamal and Rs 50,000 from the President. His wife Jaya, son Abhishek Bachchan and daughter-in-law Aishwarya Rai were present at the function when the actor received his fourth national award.

He had earlier won national awards for his performances in “Black” (2005, best actor), “Agnipath” (1990, best actor) and “Saat Hindustani” (1969, best newcomer).

Raykesh Omprakash Mehra’s ” Delhi 6″, shot in the bylanes of Old Delhi, bagged the Nargis Dutt award for best feature film on national integration while Shyam Benegal’s “Well Done Abba” was chosen as the best movie on social issues.

Giving away the awards, President Pratibha Patil said cinema was a very potent medium for conveying a message and became an important factor in influencing social norms.

“Cinema operated within the context of a social scenario and, thus, had a stake in the stability, prosperity and progress of society. Therefore, all involved in the film industry should consider themselves as social leaders and as stakeholders in the welfare of people,” she said.

Outlining measures being taken to commemorate 2013, which is the centenary year of Indian cinema, information and broadcasting minister Ambika Soni said the year will showcase the cinematic heritage of the industry in the last 100 years.

For this purpose, a national committee would be constituted consisting of eminent film persons and other stakeholders to suggest a comprehensive plan for making it a truly memorable event for cine lovers, she said.

The centenary celebrations would also offer an opportunity to applaud the young iconic members of the film industry for their contribution, while at the same time positioning India as a “soft power” at a global level.

Elaborating further, Soni mentioned that information and broadcasting ministry would utilise this platform to showcase India’s cinematic brilliance across the country as well as globally.

As part of the centenary celebration plans, she said that it was her endeavour to complete three institutional mechanisms to mark the occasion.

These included the Museum of Indian Cinema in Mumbai, the National Centre of Excellence for Animation, Gaming and Visual Effects in Pune and the National Archival Heritage Mission to cover country’s rich archival wealth, by 2013.

At the awards, R Balki’s “Paa” also got the best Hindi film trophy, besides winning recognition in the best supporting actress category (Arundhuti Nag) and best make-up (Christein Tinsley and Dominie Till).

Amit Trivedi got the best music director award for Anurag Kashyap’s “Dev D”, a modern take on Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay’s classic “Devdas”.

The emotional number ‘Behti hawa sa tha woh’ from “3 Idiots” bagged the best lyrics award for Swanand Kirkere.

The best children’s film award was shared by “Putaani Party” in Kannada and “Keshu” in Malayalam. Jeeva and Anba Karaus shared the best child actor award.

Telegu film “Magadheera” bagged awards for special effects and choreography.

The best audiography award was shared by Oscar winner Resool Pookutty and Amrit Pritam for “Kerala Varma Pazhassi Raja’, Subash Sahoo (location sound) for “Kaminey” and Anup Dev (re-recordist of the final missed track) for “3 Idiots”.

The awards were announced by chairpersons of each of the three juries for feature films, non-feature films and film writing.

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