Mumbai: Subhash Kapoor’s critically acclaimed legal drama Jolly LLB, and the true-life legal drama Shahid both won in two categories each at the 61st National Film Awards, which were announced on Wednesday, while low-budget Ship Of Theseus was named India’s best feature film.
True sports story Bhaag Milka Bhaag also scored twice, winning best choreography and best popular film providing wholesome entertainment.
Jolly LLB star Saurabh Shukla was named best supporting actor for his role of a judge while the film was named best Hindi feature.
An excited Kapoor told IANS: “Our film has got two National Awards and this is like ‘sone pe suhaga’. I was not expecting this.”
“It’s a proud moment for me and my team … right now I can’t express my feeling. I am also happy for our producers Fox Star. The film did well at the box office, but being rewarded with National awards is altogether a different feeling,” he added.
Released last year, Jolly LLB also starred Arshad Warsi and Boman Irani.
“It came as a surprise to me … I was not expecting this. This award has made my day,” Saurabh said.
“National Award is a prestigious award … it encourages you and keeps you going. I have no words to explain my feelings,” he said.
Hansal Mehta was named best director for Shahid. Rajkummar Rao, who plays the title role in the film, shared the best actor title with Malayalam actor Suraj Venjaramoodu, who won it for Perariyathavar.
“I am very overwhelmed and really happy after hearing this. It is an award for the entire team and it is the recognition to the fact that anything made with determination will succeed,” Mehta told IANS.
“You don’t make films to win National Award or anything, you make films to present a story and honestly that was an intention. These are all recognition of hard work and honesty that has been put while making the film,” he added.
Shahid, directed by Mehta and produced by Anurag Kashyap, is a biographical film based on the life of lawyer and human rights activist Shahid Azmi, who was assassinated in 2010 in Mumbai.
Actress Geetanjali Thapa has won best actress for Hindi film Liar’s Dice. The film also won best cinematography.
Thapa has been awarded for “merging completely into a role and look the character to perfection”.
The best supporting actress award is shared by Amruta Subhash for Marathi film Astu and Egyptian actress Aida Al Kashef for Ship Of Theseus.
The best child artist category was won by Somnath Avghade for Marathi film Fandry and Sadhana for Thanga Meengal.
Girish Malik’s directorial debut Jal was named the best film in the special effects category.
“It’s a moment of pride! Finally, our film is being recognised. National Award is one of the prestigious awards and it’s like an icing on the cake,” Malik told IANS.
“Special effects added value to the film. Besides, we worked on a very tight budget and it was a huge challenge. We had to make it look realistic, so it’s great that we are being rewarded for our work,”he said.
Read the full list of winners here