National Film Awards Announced: ‘Neerja’ and ‘Rustom’ Top Awardees

National Film Awards 2017


Each year the announcement of the National Film Awards is one of tinsel town’s much-awaited events. We, the Bollywood fans, too, eagerly wait for our favourites to be awarded, our picks to be vindicated. So here’s the update on 64th National Film Awards which were announced yesterday – April 7, 2017.

Best Hindi Feature Film – Director Ram Madhvani’s film ‘Neerja’ starring Sonam Kapoor bagged the top slot and was named best Hindi feature film. The film is based on the hijacking of Pan Am Flight 73 in Karachi (Pakistan) in 1986 and the bravery of its head purser Neerja Bhanot. Actress Sonam Kapoor earned a special mention for “convincing performance of a real life icon”. Sonam plays the titular role of Neerja in the biopic. She later tweeted that she is “shocked and grateful“.

Best Actor and Actress – Akshay Kumar bagged the Best Actor Award for his leading role in the film ‘Rustom’. Directed by Tinu Suresh Desai and produced by Neeraj Pandey, the film was based (in part) on the Nanavati trial – India’s last case to be tried by a jury. He won the award for “a perfect portrayal of a character caught in personal and social turmoil”. Surabhi Lakshmi was awarded best actress for the Malayalam movie ‘Minnaminungu’. Her role depicts the agony and joy of an impoverished mother.

Full List of National Film Awards Winners –

  • Best Hindi Feature Film – Neerja
  • Best Actor – Akshay Kumar (for Rustom)
  • Best Actress – Surabhi Lakshmi (for Minnaminungu)
  • Best Supporting Actor – Manoj Joshi (for Dashkriya)
  • Best Supporting Actress – Zaira Wasim (for Dangal)
  • Best Director – Rajesh Mapuskar (for Ventilator)
  • Best Debut Film of a Director – Deep Chaudari (for Alifa)
  • Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment – Sathamanam Bhavathi
  • Best Film on Social Issues – Pink
  • Best Children’s Film – Dhanak
  • Best Child Artist – Adhish Praveen (for Kunju Daivam), Saj (for Noor Islam), Manohara (for Railway Children)
  • Best Male Playback Singer – Sundara Iyer (for Joker)
  • Best Female Playback Singer – Iman Chakraborty (for Praktan)
  • Best Music Direction – Babu Padmanabha (Allama)
  • Best Stunt Choreography – Peter Hein (for Pulimurugan)
  • Best Editing – Rameshwar S. Bhagat (for Ventilator)
  • Best Screenplay (original) – Syam Pushkaran (for Maheshinte Prathikaaram)
  • Best Screenplay (adapted) – Sanjay Krishnaji Patel (for Dashakriya)
  • Best Make-up Artist – MK Ramakrishna
  • Best Production Design – 24
  • Sound Designer – Jayadevan (for Kaadu Pookkunna Neram)
  • Best Costume Designer – Sachin (for Cycle)
  • Best Special Effect Award: Shivaay
  • Best Environmental film including agriculture – The Tiger Who Crossed The Line

Special Mention –

  • Kadvi Hawa (Hindi)
  • Mukthi Bhavan (Hindi)
  • Majirathi Keki (Assamese)
  • Sonam Kapoor (Neerja)

Special Jury Award –

  • Mohanlal (for Pulimurugan)
  • Janatha Garage
  • Munthirivallikal Thalirkkumbol

Best Feature Films in Regional Languages –

  • Bengali – Bisarjan
  • Gujarati – Wrong Side Raju
  • Kannada – Reservation
  • Konkini – Ke Sara Sara
  • Malayalam – Maheshinte Prathikaram
  • Marathi – Dashakriya
  • Tamil – Joker
  • Telugu – Pelli Choopulu
  • Tulu – Madipur

The National Film Awards are presented each year (since 1954). Over 300 films were viewed and judged by a panel from March, 2017. The panel was headed by filmmaker Priyadarshan this year. “It’s definitely an honour and a huge responsibility. I have close to 36 years of experience and have made 91 films, so I am hoping to put that to good use“, he said.

As always, this year as well, the jury’s decision attracted criticism because some popular Bollywood movies were passed over in favour of others. Many expressed surprise that movies such as ‘Dangal’ and ‘Aligarh’ did not find prominent mention. Jury chairman Priyadarshan, however, emphasised that regional cinema had done exceptionally well in 2016. This is the reason many Bollywood films did not find any mention.


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