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    Dadasaheb Phalke Award for Vinod Khanna, Sridevi gets best actress

    The 65th National Film Awards on Friday recognised the contribution of Vinod Khanna and Sridevi to the Indian cinema by honouring them post-humously with the Dadasaheb Phalke and best actress awards, respectively.

    Announcing Sridevi’s name, feature film jury head Shekhar Kapur said that the actor was the most deserving candidate. Khanna, one of the biggest stars of Hindi films in 1970s and 1980s, became the 49th recipient of Dadasaheb Phalke award, Indian cinema’s highest honour, in a befitting homage to the legend whose first death anniversary is barely a fortnight away. 

    Sridevi, whose filmography spanned across 50 years and in 300 films in languages such as Tamil, Telugu and Hindi, was recognised 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.

    Mr 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,” Mr 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,” Mr Kapoor told agencies.

    The jury recognised the diversity in Indian cinema by appreciating 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 recognised 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 for director Pampally. It was also recognised as the best film in Jasari langauge.

    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.

    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. Mr Kapur called Mr 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 recognising my work. When I stepped out of my village, I had the desire of winning a national award someday. I am humbled,” Mr Tripathi told PTI.

    Nargis Dutt award for the best feature film on national integration went to the Marathi film Dhappa, while Malayalam film Aalorumkkam was recognised 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.

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