Legendary Bengali actor Soumitra Chatterjee was today conferred the prestigious Dada Saheb Phalke award by Vice President Hamid Ansari who also gave away trophies to the winners of the 59th National Film Awards here.
77-year-old Chatterjee was given a huge round of applause and a standing ovation by the audience as he received the Swarna Kamal (golden lotus) medallion, a cash prize of Rs 10 lakh and a shawl. He hurried back to his seat only to be stopped and requested to the dais by Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni to speak.
"I'm really not in the frame of mind to say anything. I have always been in doubt about my work. I always thought that entertainment business was not worthwhile... For 50 years I have been accepted and loved by my countrymen. They are the reason I have come this far," he said.
Making his debut in Satyajit Ray's Apur Sansar, he went on to enjoy a great actor-director relationship with Satyajit Ray by starring in classics like Charulata, Ghare Baire, Devi and Aranyer Din Ratri.
The best feature film trophy was shared by Umesh Kulkarni directed Marathi film Deool and Byari. It comes with a Swarna Kamal and a cash prize of Rs 2,50,000.
Bollywood was represented by actress Vidya Balan, who accepted her best actress trophy for The Dirty Picture.
"It is a huge honour and I have come with my parents. I am lucky to be the part of the industry at a time when roles are being written for Indian heroines. They are not simply good or bad. They are portraying characters with different shades," said the 34-year-old star, who wore a pink saree.
Deool lead star Girish Kulkarni accepted the trophies for the best actor and best dialogue writer at the awards. The best actor and actress get a Rajat Kamal and Rs 50,000 each.
"It is great honour not only to our film but for the regional cinema and Marathi film industry. Filmmaking is a team effort and we all feel happy to get our film recognised. I have won two awards, so the happiness is double for me," Girish said.
Gurvinder Singh from Punjab won a Swarna Kamal and Rs 2,50,000 for the best director award for his film Anhe Ghorey Da Daan, which also won awards for best cinematography and best Punjabi film.
Comic hero Vinay Pathak and TV actress Soumya Tandon hosted the function.
Anand Bhate, winner of best playback singer (male), performed from his film Balgandharva (Marathi), while a nervous Roopa Ganguly sang few lines from Abosheshey, for which she won the best playback singer (female).
Onir's I Am, a compilation of four different stories about identity, was awarded for being the best Hindi film. The film also won in the best lyrics category for Amitabh Bhattacharya- written Agar Zindagi. Bhattacharya and composer Amit Trivedi also sang songs from the film.
S Nallamuthu bagged two Rajat Kamal awards for best environment film and cinematography for his documentary Tiger Dynasty.
Tamil movie Azhagarsamiyin Kuthirai was given the award for best popular film while its lead Appu Kutty took home the best supporting actor trophy.
Leishangthem Tonthoingambi Devi was the best supporting actress for her role in Manipuri film Phijigee Mani.
Bollywood films won in children's film categories with Salman Khan's Chillar Party bagging the best children film award where 11 kid stars from the film shared the best child artist award with Partho Gupte from Stanley Ka Dabba.
Vikas Behl and Manish Tiwari won the original screenplay award for Chillar Party, while the adapted screenplay award went to Avinash Deshpande Nigdi for Marathi film Shala.
Bosco-Caeser won the best choreography award for the song 'Senorita' from Bollywood film Zindagi Naa Milegi Dobara while Shah Rukh Khan starrer Ra.One was given the award for best special effects.
Milan Luthria-directed The Dirty Picture shared best costume and make-up award with Marathi film Balgandharva.
The Indira Gandhi award for the best debut film of a director went to Tamil filmmaker Kumararaja Thiagarajan for his movie Aaranyakandam.
Anjan Dutt won a special mention by the jury for his versatility while his film Ronjona Ami Aar Ashbona bagged the best Bengali film award.
The award for writing on cinema was given to Anirudha Bhattacharjee and Balaji Vittal while the best film critic trophy went to Manoj Barpujari (Assam). Both received Swarna Kamal and Rs 75,000.
Awards were also given in 21 non-feature categories.
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