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Saturday, 14 April 2018 | PNS | New Delhi– They say an honour outlasts time and space. And so it is that the 65th National Film Awards, often under fire for ignoring the mainstream Hindi film industry, on Friday posthumously recognised two of its leading lights, Vinod Khanna and Sridevi, by conferring them the Dadasaheb Phalke and Best Actress awards respectively. Announcing Sridevi’s name, feature film jury head Shekhar Kapur said the actor was the most deserving candidate for her role as an avenging mother extracting justice for her abused daughter on her terms in MOM. Kapur even clarified that Sridevi, whose filmography spanned across 50 years and 300 films in languages such as Tamil, Telugu and Hindi, had been chosen “not because of the relationship we shared but because she was the most deserving candidate for her portrayal in Mom.” Sridevi’s husband Boney Kapoor became emotional when told about her win. “Thank you. I just wish she was here today to see this,” he told news agencies. Khanna, one of the biggest stars of Hindi films through the 70s and 80s, became the 49th recipient of the Dadasaheb Phalke award, the second actor to be named for the honour posthumously after Prithviraj Kapoor. Khanna was, in fact, our first versatile star who transitioned from genres and characters with admirable ease when there was no dedicated space for arthouse projects. Such was his stature that his negative characters left as much of an impression on us as his positive portrayals. Good-looking he was but when it came to his roles, that facet was incidental as the actor in him took charge. Through the first half of the 70s, he outshone himself  in terms of variety, scale and range. Mainstream blockbuster Baahubali: The Conclusion wrapped up neat, winning the award for the best popular film providing wholesome entertainment, besides being named for special effects and action direction. Ganesh Acharya won the choreography award for Toilet: Ek Prem Katha.Oscar aspirant Newton, a dark comedy on Indian democracy, was named the best Hindi film. However, when it came to content, regional films scored big. 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). “You can’t really decide how people will respond to your film as it’s an artform that can be interpreted and appreciated differently. But I am glad to hear all the wonderful things people are saying about the film,” she had told The Pioneer when the film did well on the festival circuit. She is hopeful that the appreciation will open doors money-wise and she will be able to find producers for her next. “I want to expand the reach of film-making through online platforms. We are talking to some crowd funders.” Jayraj 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. Hindi film actor 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. Oscar-winning music composer AR 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. The Nargis Dutt award for the best feature film on national integration went to the Marathi film Dhappa, while the Malayalam film Aalorumkkam was recognised as the best film on social issues. Fahad Fazil won the best supporting actor for the Malayalam film Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum, which was also recognised for original screenplay, while the best dialogues went to Odiya film Hello Arsi. It was also recognised 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. And for al those who missed K J Yesudas, the veteran singer was recognised 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.

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