File pictures of legendary actors the late Vinod Khanna and the late Sridevi.  Khanna has been honored with the prestigious Dada Saheb Phalke Award while Sridevi has been named for the best actress award in the 65th National Film Awards which were announced, April 13. (Press Trust of India)

Doffing its hat to mainstream stars Vinod Khanna and Sridevi, the 65thNational Film Awards, April 13, recognized their contribution to the Indian cinema by honoring them posthumously with the Dadasaheb Phalke and best actress awards. ”Village Rockstars” won the best film.

Announcing Sridevi’s name, feature film jury head Shekhar Kapur said the actor was the most deserving candidate.

Sridevi, whose filmography spanned across 50 years and in 300 films in languages such as Tamil, Telugu and Hindi, was recognized for her role of an angry mother seeking justice for her daughter in rape revenge drama, “Mom.”

Her death, at the age of 54 in February this year, had shocked the country. Kapur had worked with Sridevi in “Mr India.”

“It was not because of the relationship we shared but because she was the most deserving candidate for her portrayal in ‘Mom’,” Kapur said.

Sridevi’s husband Boney Kapoor became emotional when told about her win.

“Thank you. I just wish she was here today to see this,” Boney told PTI.

Khanna, one of the biggest stars of Hindi films in ’70s and ’80s, became the 49threcipient of Dadasaheb Phalke award, Indian cinema’s highest honor. Probably, the only second actor to be named for the honor posthumously after Prithviraj Kapoor.

The jury recognized the diversity in Indian cinema by distributing accolades to films belonging to different regional languages.

Rima Das’ Assamese film “Village Rockstars,” about the music aspirations of a village girl, was named the best feature film, besides scoring awards for the best location sound recordist, editing and best child artiste (Bhanita Das).

Jayaraj was named the best director and the best adapted screenplay writer for his Malayalam film “Bhayanakam.” It also won the best cinematography award.

Riddhi Sen was recognized as the best actor for Kaushik Ganguly’s “Nagarkirtan,” which was also bagged awards in multiple categories, such as the best costume, makeup and special jury.

Oscar-winning music composer A.R. Rahman swept the best music direction category by winning the best songs for the Tamil Film “Kaatru Veliyidai” and the best background music for the Hindi film “Mom.”

“Sinjar,” made in Jasari language, won the Indira Gandhi award for the best debut film of a director to Pampally. It was also recognized as the best film in Jasari langauge.

Mainstream blockbuster “Baahubali: The Conclusion” won national award for best popular film providing wholesome entertainment, besides being named for special effects and action direction.

Ganesh Acharya won the choreography award for the Hindi film “Toilet: Ek Prem Katha.”


Chairpersons of the juries (Feature, Non-feature) Shekhar Kapur and Aradhana Pradhan during a press conference to announce the 65th National Film Awards for the different categories, in New Delhi, April 13. (Kamal Singh/PTI)


Hindi film “Newton,” a dark comedy on Indian democracy, was named the best Hindi film and a special mention went to its actor Pankaj Tripathi for his portrayal of a cynical CRPF officer Atma Singh. Kapur called Tripathi’s portrayal one of the highlights of the Amit V. Masurkar-directed film.

“This is a very important day for me, and an equally important award. I am thankful to the government for recognizing my work. When I stepped out of my village, I had the desire of winning a national award someday. I am humbled,” Tripathi told PTI.

Nargis Dutt award for the best feature film on national integration went to the Marathi film “Dhappa,” while the Malayalam film “Aalorumkkam” was recognized as the best film on social issues.

Hindi film star Divya Dutta was named the best supporting actress for her role in “Irada,” which also bagged the award for the best film on environmental conservation/preservation.

“I just heard about it. It is my first national award even though everyone thought I had already won a national award. Today, it has finally come true,” Dutta told PTI.

Fahad Fazil won the best supporting actor for the Malayalam film “Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum.” The film was also recognized for original screenplay, while the best dialogues went to Odiya film “Hello Arsi.” It was also recognized as the best Odiya film.

“Mhorkya,” a Marathi film, was adjudged the best children’s film, while the best Marathi film award went to “Kaccha Limbu.”

Veteran singer K.J. Yesudas was recognized as the best male singer for his song ‘Poy Maranja Kalam’ in the Malayalam film “Viswasapoorva M. Mansoor,” while the best female singer went to Shashaa Tirupati for the song “Vaan” for “Kaatru Veliyidai.”