India's 59th National Film Awards: Regional Films Honored as Bollywood's Vidya Balan Wins Best Actress

Vidya Balan in "The Dirty Picture"
Vidya Balan in "The Dirty Picture"
 Balaji Telefilms

NEW DELHI – The Indian government's 59th National Film Awards put the spotlight on regional language films with two titles sharing the best feature trophy. Byari, the first film made in the Beary language spoken in coastal Kannada in South India, and Marathi film Deool were honored with the Swarna Kamal alongwith a cash prize of about $ 5,100 (Rupees 250,000). Byari (directed by Suveeram) revolves around the plight of girls being mistreated in a small Muslim community while political drama Deool (directed by Umesh Vinayak Kulkarni) portrays the effects of globalization on India's small towns. Deool also saw a best actor win for Girish Kulkarni while Bollywood star Vidya Balan's turn as an eighties siren in runaway hit The Dirty Picture was an expected best actress nod following her recent honors including the Filmfare awards. Best director went to Gurvinder Singh for Punjabi language drama Anhe Ghorey Da Daan.

I Am directed by Onir – which tackled edgy themes such as homosexuality and the politics of Kashmir among other issues – won best Hindi film and best lyrics (Amitabh Bhattacharya). One of Bollywood's most expensive films, superhero caper RA.One starring Shah Rukh Khan, won best special effects.

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