'Bhaag Milkha Bhaag' Tops India's Filmfare Awards
Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (Run Milkha Run) sprinted away with top honors at the 59th Filmfare Awards Friday night in Mumbai. Based on the life of athlete Milkha Singh - one of India's greatest living sports legends - the Viacom18-produced biopic picked up trophies for best actor (Farhan Akhtar), best director (Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra) and best film.
Deepika Padukone won best actress for Ram-Leela: Goliyon ki Rasleela, director Sanjay Leela Bhansali's dazzling take on Romeo and Juliet which was one of last year's big hits. The film's Supriya Pathak won best supporting actress.
Another sports-based drama, Disney-UTV's Kai Po Che – which screened at last year's Berlin festival – won best screenplay for Chetan Bhagat, Abhishek Kapoor, Supratik Sen and Pubali Chaudhari.
Leading south Indian actor Dhanush K Raja won best male debut for his first Hindi film Raanjhanaa while Vaani Kapoor won best female debut in Shuddh Desi Romance.
Ritesh Batra won best debut director for his much-acclaimed The Lunchbox, which premiered at Cannes last year to positive reviews and brisk foreign sales. Picked up for North America by Sony Pictures Classics, The Lunchbox is set for a Feb. 28 U.S. release following its recent screening at Sundance. The film's Nawazuddin Siddiqui won best supporting actor while, as expected, The Lunchbox also won best film (critics choice). “Beyond excited and humbled for all the awards that #thelunchbox received tonight,” the film's producer Guneet Monga posted on her Twitter account.
Rajkumar Rao won best actor (critics) for his turn as a crusading lawyer in Shahid, based on real events. Shilpa Shukla won best actress (critics) for her portrayal of a cougar Delhi housewife who seduces a college student in Ajay Bahl's directorial debut B A Pass.
Romantic drama Aashiqui 2 – a sequel to the 1990 original – won best music for its composers Jeet Ganguly, Mithoon and Ankit Tiwari and best playback male singer for Arijit Singh.
Veteran actress Tanujaa was honored with a lifetime achievement award.
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This year's awards were hosted by top actress Priyanka Chopra and actor Ranbir Kapoor. Chopra is featured in THR's Pop Goes The World portfolio as the international pop singer gets set to release another single off her upcoming debut album, an EDM cover of Bonnie Raitt's “I Can't Make You Love Me”.
The glittering ceremony featured a host of performances from top stars including actor Salman Khan, actresses Madhuri Dixit and Katrina Kaif (whose latest release Dhoom:3 has become the most successful Indian film of all time grossing over $83 million worldwide).
Presented by leading magazine Filmfare – published by the Times of India newspaper and media group – the awards will air Sunday on Sony Entertainment Television.