New Delhi: The 63rd National Film Awards ceremony here on Tuesday got a dash of glitz and glamour of Bollywood with Amitabh Bachchan and Kangana Ranaut getting Best Actor and Best Actress honours. President Pranab Mukherjee presented the awards at the ceremony at Vigyan Bhavan, which got talent from all the regional cinematic worlds across India under one roof. A total of 21 awards were given by the President in the Non-Feature Film category while the number of awards in Feature Film category were 51. And to add to it, three awards were given to Best Writing on Cinema.
While Amitabh, dressed up in a black suit, picked up the award for his act as a Bengali father in "Piku", which also starred Deepika Padukone, Kangana looking radiant in off-shoulder gown got the honour for her superlative dual act in "Tanu Weds Manu Returns". She has previously won National Awards twice for her roles in "Fashion" and "Queen". In the Feature Film category, the award for the Best Feature Film was given to filmmaker S.S. Rajamouli's southern magnum opus "Baahubali: The Beginning", produced by Shobu Yarlagadda and Arka Mediaworks Pvt Ltd. The talent of the Hindi film industry was lauded along with regional film industries like Bengali, Marathi, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu and Assamese. The President said that the "Indian films truly reflected the Indian character of unity and diversity". Mukherjee complimented the award winners who included newcomers as well as legends of Indian cinema, and added that the awards this year reflected all aspects of cinema, including digitization and technology. It was the tragic romance saga of Maratha warrior Peshwa Bajirao I (played by Ranveer Singh) and Mastani (Deepika Padukone) in "Bajirao Mastani" that shone through the ceremony as it scooped up many honours. Sanjay Leela Bhansali got the Best Director award for it as Remo D'Souza won the award in Best Choreography. Shriram Iyengar, Saloni Dhatrak and Sujeet Sawant won for the movie's production design.
In the audiography section, Biswadeep Chatterjee's sound designing and Justin Ghose's re-recording of the final mixed track for the Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone starrer, have been honoured. "Masaan" directed by Neeraj Ghaywan and produced by Phantom Films received the Indira Gandhi Award for Best Debut Film of a Director. Superstar Salman Khan's on-screen journey to Pakistan from India via "Bajrangi Bhaijaan" became the Best Popular Film providing Wholesome Entertainment. The film's director Kabir Khan, looking sophisticated in black bandhgala, received the award. The gala also witnessed the performances by 63rd National Film Award winners - 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". Filmmaker Vishal Bhardwaj bagged the Best Screenplay Writer (adapted) Award for "Talvar". The Best Screenplay Writer (original) was shared by Juhi Chaturvedi ("Piku") and Himanshu Kumar ("Tanu Weds Manu Returns").
Just post the announcement of the award winners back in March, many questions surfaced pretaining to why regional cinema and talent was sidelined. Hinting at the stir, the President also spoke of the importance of films in context of variety and diversity of India and the important role it played in unifying the nation. Amitabh, who has earlier won the National Film Award thrice for films "Agneepath", "Black" and "Paa", was cheered by his family including wife Jaya, son Abhishek, daughter-in-law Aishwarya Rai and daughter Shweta Nanda. Veteran Tanvi Azmi also won the Best Supporting Actress award for her act in "Bajirao Mastani", and actress Shabana Azmi and her husband Javed Akhtar were seen lauding their relative. In fact, they were so excited that they went on photo clicking spree when her name was announced. The award for the Best Children's Film was given to "Duronto" (Hindi) produced by Code Red Films. Master Gaurav Menon was conferred award for Best Child Artist for movie "Ben" (Malayalam). The Award for the Best Music direction (songs) has been conferred on M. Jayachandran for "Ennu Ninte Moideen" (Malayalam) and the award for the best music direction (Background Score) was given to Ilaiyaraaja for "Thaarai Thappattai" (Tamil). It was Bollywood touch in music as well. The award for the best lyrics has been conferred on Varun Grover for the song "Moh moh ke dhaage" from the film "Dum Laga Ke Haisha". A special jury award has been conferred on Kalki Koechlin, who exuded charm in a off-white sari with green border, for the film "Margarita with a Straw". This year National Film Awards included a special award given to the state of Gujarat for being the most film friendly state in the country and veteran film actor and director Manoj Kumar was conferred with the 47th Dadasaheb Phalke Award at the function.