Established in 1954, the National Film Awards are the most prominent awards for films in India. Every year, Government of India appoints a national panel that selects the winning entries. This year, the 66th National Film Awards 2019 for best Indian cinema sprang a surprise or two.
To begin with, ‘Hellaro’ became the first ever Gujarati movie to win the National Award for Best Feature Film. Directed by Abhishek Shah, ‘Hellaro’ is a film dwelling on the self-expression and empowerment of women in Kutch. It is a big achievement for Dhollywood or Gollywood – as they informally call the Gujarati cinema industry. Written by Prateek Gupta, ‘Hellaro’ has stars Shraddha Dangar, Shachi Joshi, Neelam Panchal and ten other actresses – all of whom received Special Jury Award.
Best Director Award was bagged by Aditya Dhar for his directorial debut – ‘Uri: The Surgical Strike’. For portraying the character of Major Vihaan Singh Shergill in the same movie, Vicky Kaushal got the Best Actor Award. However, Vicky Kaushal will be sharing the award of Best Actor with Ayushmann Khurrana who played the blind(?) piano player Akash in Sriram Raghavan’s ‘Andhadhun’.
For her brilliant performance in Telugu movie ‘Mahanati’ – biopic of actress Savitri – Keerthy Suresh bagged the Best Actress Award. Best Costume Design Award was also claimed by ‘Mahanati’. Apart from these two awards, ‘Mahanati’ was also declared the Best Telugu movie.
Quite well known as a lyricist, Swanand Kirkire bagged the Best Supporting Actor Award for Marathi movie – ‘Chumbak’ – in which he plays a 45-year-old mentally challenged person – Prasanna. Surekha Sikri – who played Nakul’s grandmother in ‘Badhaai Ho’ – grabbed the Best Supporting Actress Award.
‘Badhaai Ho’ also won the award for the Best Popular Film providing Wholesome Entertainment. ‘Pad Man’ was declared Best Movie on Other Social Issues. Marathi Movie ‘Paani’ was declared the Best Movie on Environment. Written and Directed by D Satya Prakash, Kannada Movie ‘Ondalla Eradalla’ was declared Best Feature Film on National Integration.
Singer Arijit Singh won his first National Award – Male Playback Singer – for his song ‘Binte Dil’ for the movie ‘Padmaavat’, whereas Sanjay Leela Bhansali won the Best Music Director Award for the same movie. ‘Padmaavat’ also won the Best Choreography Award for ‘Ghoomar’ song.
Sriram Raghavan and his team won the Best Screenplay Award for ‘Andhadhun’. Apart from Best Actor and Screenplay, ‘Andhadhun’ also managed to bring home the Best Hindi Feature Film award. ‘Uri: The Surgical Strike’ also won the Best Sound Recording Award. Thus, ‘Andhadhun’, ‘Uri: The Surgical Strike’, ‘Mahanati’ as well as ‘Padmaavat’, each won three national awards.
Kannada movie ‘K.G.F. Chapter 1’ won two awards – Best Special Effects and Best Stunt.
Directed by Srijit Mukherjee and based on Bhawal Sanyasi, ‘Ek Je Chhilo Raja’ won National Award for Best Bengali Movie. Based on Dhruv Bhatt’s Gujrati novel ‘Tatvmasi’, adventure-drama ‘Reva: A Journey Within’ won the Best Gujarati Movie award.