Doffing its hat to mainstream stars Vinod Khanna and Sridevi, the 65th National Film Awards yesterday recognised their contribution to the Indian cinema by honouring them posthumously with the Dadasaheb Phalke and best actress awards. Announcing Sridevi's name, feature film jury head Shekhar Kapur said the actor was the most deserving candidate.
Sridevi, whose filmography spanned across 50 years and 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. 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'," Kapur said.
Khanna, one of the biggest stars of Hindi films in '70s and '80s, became the 49th recipient of Dadasaheb Phalke award, Indian cinema's highest honour. Probably, the only second actor to be named for the honour posthumously after Prithviraj Kapoor.
The jury recognised the diversity in Indian cinema by distributing accolades to 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 of a director to Pampally. It was also recognised as the best film in Jasari langauge.
Mainstream 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.