'Barfi!' Sweeps India's Filmfare Awards

 Disney UTV Studios

NEW DELHI -- India's Oscar entry may not have made the final cut among this year's best foreign film nominees, but Barfi! dominated the 58th Filmfare Awards Sunday night in Mumbai.

The awards are organized by leading local magazine Filmfare owned by the Times of India media group. Established in 1954, they are one of India's oldest award shows for cinema and represent a major event on the yearly calendar for the local industry. 

The Chaplineseque Barfi!, produced by Disney-UTV, picked up seven trophies, including best film, while its lead, Ranbir Kapoor, picked up best actor for his turn as a deaf and mute young man caught in a love triangle. Barfi!, named after a traditional Indian sweet and also the name of Kapoor's character, also picked up two wins for composer Pritam who bagged best music and best background score.

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Vidya Balan won best actress portraying a woman seeking justice in the thriller Kahaani helmed by Sujoy Ghosh, who won best director. Balan, who recently married Disney-UTV Motion Pictures CEO Siddharth Roy Kapur, had a nostalgic moment at the awards, recalling, “Interestingly, I met Siddharth for the first time backstage at the Filmfare Awards some years back. So it is a very nostalgic feeling for me today.”

Veteran actor Annu Kapoor won best supporting actor for his comic turn as a fertility doctor in Vicky Donor. Anushka Sharma won best supporting actress for her turn as a spunky documentary filmmaker in one of 2012's major releases Jab Tak Hai Jaan, the last film from iconic director Yash Chopra, who passed away just before its release. The late filmmaker, who founded veteran Bollywood banner Yash Raj Films, was honored with a special posthumous lifetime achievement award which was received by his wife, Pamela Chopra.

One of India's most respected lyricists and poets, Gulzar won best lyricist for the popular song “Challa” from Jab Tak Hai Jaan. “I am missing the one person who is here today and yet absent, Yash Chopra,” said Gulzar.

The critics award for best actor went to Irrfan Khan for his portrayal of an athlete-turned-bandit in acclaimed biopic Paan Singh Tomar. Richa Chadha picked up the critics award for best actress for her gritty turn as a gangster's wife in Anurag Kashyap's two-part epic Gangs of Wasseypur which also won the critics award for best film and best director.

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Other winners included Gauri Shinde for best debut director for the critically and commercially acclaimed English Vinglish, which became a comeback vehicle for veteran actress Sridevi. Paan Singh Tomar won best screenplay, penned by its director Tigmanshu Dhulia and Sanjay Chauhan.

The awards were held at the Yash Raj Film Studios and hosted by top actors Shah Rukh Khan and Saif Ali Khan. A special tribute to the centenary of Indian cinema included a performance of the Oscar-winning song “Jai Ho!” from Slumdog Millionaire. The evening also saw live performances by top actress Katrina Kaif performing a medley of recent hit film songs.

The recorded ceremony will soon broadcast exclusively on Sony Entertainment Television.

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