Southern films bag top honours at 55th National Awards

New Delhi : Southern cinema scored big at the 55th National Awards Monday with the Tamil film “Kanchivaram” adjudged best feature film and Prakash Raj best actor for his performance in it, while Adoor Gopalakrishnan bagged best director for the Malayalam film “Naalu Pennungal” and Uma Shri best actress for “Gulabi Talkies” in Kannada.

This is Gopalakrishnan’s ninth National Award — his film also wins best editing award for B. Ajith — and third for Tamil star Prakash Raj after “Dhaya” (special jury award in 2003) and “Iruvar” (best supporting actor in 1997).

Girish Kasaravalli’s “Gulabi Talkies” about a Muslim midwife is also the best Kannada film in the awards for 2007 announced here by S.M. Khan, director of the Directorate of Film Festivals and jury members Sai Paranjape, Ashok Viswanathan and Namita Gokhale.

Bollywood gets a mention too with Aamir Khan’s directorial debut “Taare Zameen Par” getting best family welfare award. Lyricist Prasoon Joshi is best lyricist for “Maa” from “Taare Zameen Par” about a dyslexic child. The song also gets Shankar Mahadevan the National Award for best playback singer.

Shah Rukh Khan starrer “Chak De! India”, about a humiliated national level hockey player who steers the women’s team to international victory, has been awarded best film in overall entertainment. Sabu Cyril wins the best art direction award for “Om Shanti Om”.

Veteran choreographer Saroj Khan gets an award for the song “Yeh Ishk Hai” from “Jab We Met”.

Anil Kapoor’s “Gandhi My Father” has won three awards – Feroz Abbas Khan, the director of the film, gets the National Award for best screenplay and Darshan Zariwala bags best supporting actor for portraying Gandhi, the father of the nation who strove for a normal relationship with his son. And Anil bags special jury award for the film.

Shefali Shah has got the best supporting actress award for her performance in “The Last Lear”. Bhavna Talwar’s directorial debut “Dharm” that explored religious undercurrents has won the Nargis Dutt Award for best film on national integration.

Sharad Goekar is best child actor for his role in the Marathi film “Tingya”.

The Indira Gandhi Award for best first film of a director goes to Shanker Raman for “Frozen”, which also wins the best cinematography award.

Sushil Rajpal’s “Antardwandwa” is best film on social issues; “Foto”, produced by Children’s Film Society of India and directed by Virendra Saini, bags best children’s film award.

The Bengal film industry’s presence is minimal with Ruma Sengupta getting best costume designer award for her lavish costumes in “Krishnakanter Will”.

The best music award goes to Ouseppachan for his score in the Malayalam “Ore Kadal”.

Pattnam Rasheed gets best make up artist award for his work in Malayalam film “Paradesi”.

The best feature films in various languages are “Ballygunge Court” (Bengali), “1971” (Hindi), “Gulabi Talkies” (Kannada), “Ore Kadal” (Malayalam), “Nirop” (Marathi), “Periyar” (Tamil) and “The Last Lear” (English).

The jury considered 102 feature and 106 non feature films before it made its selection.

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