Malayalam film Adaminte Makan Abu (Abu, son of Adam), a simple yet evocative narrative of a man's pursuit of religion, was adjudged the best feature film and its star Salim Kumar shared the best actor honour with Tamil star Dhanush in a clean sweep for Southern cinema at the 83rd National Film Awards.
In the awards announced today, Bollywood was pushed to the background this year with the Salman Khan starrer Dabangg and Naseeruddin Shah-Vidya Balan starrer Ishqiya being the only two films to pick up awards in prominent categories.
Dabangg won the award for best popular film providing wholesome entertainment. Its producers Arbaaz Khan, Malaika Arora Khan and Dhilin Mehta along with director Abhinav Kashyap will receive the Swarna Kamal and a cash prize of Rs 2 lakhs.
In the Best Actor category, Dhanush, the son-in-law of megastar Rajinikanth, who starred in Aadukalam - a Tamil film that looks at the world of cock-fighting - shared the award with Salim Kumar, who usually essays the role of a comedian.
"Being mostly seen as a comedian, I approached the role very seriously with lot of preparation," a beaming Salim Kumar said on getting the good news.
The best actress award too had two winners - Tamil actress Saranya Ponvannan for Thenmerkku Paruvakkatru and Marathi artiste Mitalee Jagtap Varadkar for Baboo Band Baaj.
Adaminte Makan Abu, directed and produced by Salim Ahamed, won the Swarna Kamal and a cash prize of Rs 2,50,000 for it's "simple yet evocative articulation of humanist values".
Announcing the awards at a news conference, jury head filmmaker J P Dutta said the best direction award went to Vetrimaran for Aadukalam.
In all, 161 eligible entries were received in the feature film category, Dutta said, adding it was the highest number of entries received so far.
The Nargis Dutt Award for best feature film on national integration went to Bengali movie Moner Manush while the Indira Gandhi award for best debut film of a director went to Baboo Band Baaja (Marathi).
Dutta said Kannada movie Hejjegalu was adjudged as the best children film and the best child artist award was shared among four boys - Harsh Mayar (I am Kalam), Shantanu Ranganekar and Machindra Gadkar for their performance in Marathi movie Champions and Vivek Chabukswar (Baboo Band Baaja).
The best male playback singer award went to Suresh Wadkar (Mee Sindhutai Sapkal - Marathi) and female playback singer award went to Rekha Bharadwaj (Ishqiya).
Rishi Kapoor starrer Do Dooni Char was adjudged the best film in the Hindi language category.
The best music direction award was shared between Vishal Bharadwaj and Issak Thomas Kottakapally for Ishqiya and Adaminte Makan Abu respectively.
Dutta said the jury has requested I&B Minister Ambika Soni to treat all the awardees who have shared the awards in different categories as individual winners taking into account their performances.
Rajinikanth starrer Enthiran won the award for best special effects and Marathi bio-pic Mee Sindhutai Sapkal won the special jury award for the "powerful cinematic presentation of an epic journey of a living character", in this case social worker Sindhutai Sapkal.
The Marathi film also won the best adapted screenplay trophy while the award for best original screenplay went to Aadukalam.
In the non-feature film category, Hindi movie Germ directed by Snehal R Nair was adjudged the best non-feature while Pistulya, directed by Nagraj Manjule was chosen as the best debut non-feature film.
Vijaya Mulay's book From Ajahs and Yogis to Gandhi and beyond: Images of India was selected for the awards in the best book on cinema category.
The jury for the non-feature film category was headed by A K Bir.
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