Date:11/06/2008 URL:

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‘Lage Raho Munnabhai’ best popular film

Staff Reporter

Malayalam movie “Pulijanmam” chosen the best feature film

— A file photo

A still from the film “Lage Raho Munnabhai.”

NEW DELHI: The 54th National Film Awards for 2006 were announced here on Tuesday with Malayalam film “Pulijanmam” by director Priyanandanan being selected as the best feature film.

The best actor award was bagged by actor Soumitra Chatterjee for his role in the Bengali film “Podokkhep,” while Priyamani won the best actress award for her role in Tamil film “Paruthi Veeran.”

The award for the best director has gone to Madhur Bhandarkar for his Hindi film “Traffic Signal.”

Bollywood super-hit film “Lage Raho Munnabhai” by director Raj Kumar Hirani has been adjudged the best popular film providing wholesome entertainment. The film has won the award for revalidating the philosophy of non-violence in a strife-torn world and helping rediscover the Gandhi within the common man. The film also won awards in the best screenplay and best lyrics category.

The awards were announced at a press conference organised here by the Directorate of Film Festivals and the Union Information and Broadcasting Ministry.

Dilip Prabhavalkar won the best supporting actor award for his role in “Lage Raho Munnabhai” and Marathi film “Shevri,” Konkona Sen Sharma won the best supporting actress award for her role in “Omkara” and Divya Chahadkar bagged the best child artist award for her role in Konkani film “Antarnad.”

While announcing the awards, the jury members pointed out that the latest requirement for film entries to have censorship certificate had prevented several applicants from entering the competition this year.

“Too much censorship will stifle creativity and that is not something we want,” said non-feature film jury chairman K. Bikram Singh.

Feature films chairman Buddhadeb Dasgupta added: “We want young film-makers with news ideas to come up and this can be done only with the help of the government and we hope that due support will be given.”

Directors Madhu Kaithapuram and Kabir Khan bagged the Indira Gandhi Award for the best first film of a director for their films “Eakantham” (Malayalam) and “Kabul Express” (Hindi) respectively.

The Nargis Dutt Award for the best feature film on national integration was bagged by Kannada film “Kallarli Huvagi.”

Two new award categories — best animation and best make-up artist — have been constituted this year. Telugu film “Kittu” won the award in the best animation film category and Anil Moti Ram Palande was awarded the best make-up artist for the film “Traffic Signal.”

Awards in the other categories include — best playback singer Gurdas Mann for “Waris Shah Ishq Da Waris” (Punjabi), while the award for the best female playback singer was bagged by Aarti Anklekar Tikekar for “Antarnad” (Konkani).

The Special Jury Award-2006 was awarded to Vishal Bhardwaj for the film “Omkara” for an outstanding film that synergises international treatment with an earthy rooted sensibility.

The award for the best feature film in Hindi has gone to “Khosla ka Ghosla” for portraying the middle class struggle against the real estate mafia.

The best non-feature film award was given to “Bishar Blues,” a film that has demolished the myth that the practice of Islam is monolithic and not multifaceted. The best first non-feature film of a director was awarded to Jacob Varghese for his film “Andhiyum.”

The national award for the best writing on cinema was awarded to Jerry Pinto. He won the award for the best book on cinema for “Helen: The Life and Times of an H-Bomb”.

The award for the best film critic will be presented jointly to G.P. Ramachandran (Malayalam) and Rafique A. R. Baghdadi (English) and the jury has made a special mention of Utpal Datta (Assamese) for his sensitive interpretation of films and trends in cinema.

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