New Delhi : Filmmaker S.S. Rajamouli's southern magnum opus "Baahubali: The Beginning" was on Monday named the Best Feature Film at the 63rd National Film Awards announcement here. Bollywood stars Amitabh Bachchan's performance in "Piku" and Kangana Ranaut's dual act in "Tanu Weds Manu Returns" was lauded with the Best Actor and Best Actress honour.
"Baahubali: The Beginning", which was a box office wonder, was lauded for being an "imaginative film, monumental by its production values and cinematic brilliance in creating a fantasy world on the screen" by filmmaker Ramesh Sippy, head of the Feature Film jury here.
"Baahubali" was even named for the award for Best Special Effects as these brought out the "emotional and dramatic upheavals of the story" in the movie.
While some other marvels of southern cinema have found a place in the list of winners, Bollywood clearly stole the limelight with "Bajrangi Bhaijaan" winning the Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment; and Sanjay Leela Bhansali getting the Best Direction Award for "Bajirao Mastani", which also won the Best Supporting Actress award for Tanvi Azmi.
The period drama even emerged victorious in the Best Cinematography category, while Remo D'Souza won the Best Choreography honour for "creating enchanting moves" for the track "Deewani mastani", and Shriram Iyengar, Saloni Dhatrak and Sujeet Sawant won for the movie's production design.
In the audiography section, Biswadeep Chatterjee's sound designing and Justin Ghose's re-recording of the final mixed track for the Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone starrer, have been honoured.
Another big Bollywood winner was "Dum Laga Ke Haisha", which was not just named Best Hindi Film, but also won the Best Female Playback Singer for Monali Thakur for a "delightful and soulful rendition of a song of love", "Moh moh ke dhaage". The use of "fresh, simple array of metaphors" in the song by Varun Grover was appreciated with Best Lyrics honour.
A Special Jury Award went to Kalki Koechlin for her "realistic performance as a young woman afflicted with cerebral palsy" in "Margarita, With A Straw", whereas Ritika Singh, a kick boxer-turned-actress, got a special mention for "gutsy performance of a boxer in the making".
Neeraj Ghaywan, whose unusual drama "Masaan" found critical acclaim nationally and internationally, has been encouraged with the Indira Gandhi Award for Best Debut Film of a Director for "his perceptive approach to filmmaking in handling a layered story of people caught up in changing social and moral values".
Social media platforms were abuzz with users slamming the importance given to Bollywood vis-a-vis regional cinema. Another interesting facet that emerged was that the honours went to movies which were true blue box office wonders in 2015.
As for regional cinema, actor-filmmaker Samuthirakan was given the Best Supporting Actor award for the Tamil drama "Visaranaai", for which late Kishore T.E.'s editing work has also been lauded.
This year, a special honour, Film-Friendly State Award was given for the first time. It went to Gujarat "because of the efforts in the direction of ease of doing business and facilitation of films and towards the promotion of Indian cinema".
Among the winners in the Best Music Direction category are: M. Jayachandran won Best Song for "Kaathirunnu kaathirunnu" ("Ennu Ninte Moideen") and Ilaiyaraaja won in the Background Score sub-category for "Thaarai Thappattai".
As for the Screenplay segment, the award for the Best Screenplay Writer (original) is shared by Juhi Chaturvedi ("Piku") and Himanshu Kumar ("Tanu Weds Manu Returns") -- who have even shared the Best Dialogue honour -- while the Best Screenplay Writer (adapted) award has gone to Vishal Bhardwaj for "Talvar".
"Nanak Shah Fakir", which has been named for the Nargis Dutt Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration, has even won for its costume designing (Payal Saluja) and make-up (Preetisheel G Singh and Clover Wootton).
Malayalam film "Nirnnayakam" was named Best Film on Social Issues for "tackling a relevant and unaddressed issue of curtailing freedom of movement for the common man due to hartals and processions"; and Gaurav Menon won the Best Child Actor award for "Ben".
Besides these, films in various languages like Marathi, Bengali, Assamese, Kannada, Konkani and more were chosen for awards; and talent in the non-feature film categories were also announced, apart from awards on film-related writing.
List of other awards:
Best Assamese Film: "Kothanodi"
Best Bengali Film: "Sankachil"
Best Kannada Film: "Thithi"
Best Konkani Film: "Enemy"
Best Malayalam Film: "Pathemari"
Best Marathi Film: "Ringan"
Best Punjabi Film: "Chauthi Koot"
Best Tamil Film: "Visaranai"
Best Telugu Film: "Kanche"
Best Sanskrit Film: "Priyamanasam"
Best Mizo Film: "Kima's Lode Beyond the Class"
Best Oriya Film: "Pahada Ra Luha"
Best Maithili Film: "Mithila Makhan"
Best Manipuri Film: "Eibusu Yaohanbiyu"
Best Wancho Film: "The Head Hunter"
Best Haryanvi Film: "Satrangi"
Best Khasi Film: "Onaatah"
Best Children's Film: "Duronto"
Best Film on Environment Conservation/Preservation: "Valiya Chirakulla Pakshikal"