'Kutty Srank' tops India national awards


NEW DELHI -- South Indian language film “Kutty Srank” ("The Sailor of Hearts") swept the 57th National Film Awards announced Wednesday, taking home five of India's highest film honors, which also saw other regional films winning along with mainstream Bollywood.

Malayalam-language film “Kutty Srank” is directed by veteran director Shaji N. Karun and revolves around a boatman whose life is seen through the eyes of the three women he loved.

The film also bagged best screenplay, cinematography, costume design and a special jury mention.

Best director went to Bengali filmmaker Rituparno Ghosh for “Abohoman” whose female lead Ananya Chatterjee also won best actress.

Mainstream Hindi cinema saw its iconic superstar Amitabh Bachchan winning best actor for his turn as a teenager battling a rare aging disease in “Paa,” in which his son Abhishek played his father. Co-produced by Bachchan's banner AB Corp Ltd. with Reliance Big Entertainment, “Paa” picked up a total of four wins including best film, supporting actress (Arundhati Naag) and makeup (Christein Tinkey and Dominie Till).

India's most successful film of all-time, comedy caper “3 Idiots” -- that has almost grossed $100 million distributed worldwide by Reliance –- won best wholesome entertainer, lyrics and audiography.

The Indira Gandhi Award for best debut film by a director went to Sanjay Puran Singh Chauhan for “Lahore,” which also picked a best supporting actor win for Farouque Shaikh.

“Well Done Abba” by acclaimed veteran director Shyam Benegal won the best film on social issues for its satire on how red tape affects India's social welfare programs.

Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra's take on his hometown “Delhi 6” won the Nargis Dutt award for National Integration.

The awards were announced by feature film jury chairman and veteran director Ramesh Sippy, non-feature jury head and documentary filmmaker Mike Pandey along with the government's Directorate of Film Festivals additional directorate general S.M. Khan.

The awards ceremony is expected to take place in mid-October in New Delhi, where India's President Pratibha Patil will give away the trophies.
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