Bollywood Thriller 'Andhadhun' Among Winners at India's National Film Awards

'Andhadhun' still - H 2019
Courtesy of Viacom18 Motion Pictures

The government's annual awards, which honor the best of Indian cinema across multiple languages, also saw female hygiene drama 'Padman,' distributed by Sony Pictures India, winning best film on social issues.

Bollywood thriller Andhadhun was among the top winners at India's 2019 National Film Awards, with the honorees unveiled Friday. The government's annual awards celebrate the best of Indian cinema across various languages, focusing mostly on regional cinema in addition to mainstream Hindi language Bollywood.

Produced by Viacom 18 Motion Pictures, Andhadhun won best Hindi film and also saw its lead actor Ayushmann Khurrana picking up a best actor win for his turn as a presumably blind pianist ensnared by a desperate actress (Tabu) involved in the murder of her husband. Based on Olivier Treiner’s 2010 French short The Piano Tuner, Andhadhun also won best adapted screenplay.

Khurrana shared the best actor win with Vicky Kaushal, who starred in the real-life-inspired military drama Uri: The Surgical Strike as a commando officer who leads his unit to destroy a terrorist outfit in Pakistan.

Uri also won a best director award for Aditya Dhar.

Keerthy Suresh won best actress for her role in South Indian Telugu language title Mahanati, which delves into the life of veteran actress Savitri. Mahanati also won best Telugu language film.

The best feature film award went to Gujarati language title Hellaro, directed by Abhishek Shah. Festival favorite Bulbul Can Sing, which premiered at Toronto, won best Assamese language film.

The best film on social issues was awarded to Bollywood title Padmanwhich was distributed by Sony Pictures India. Padman was inspired by the real-life story of Arunachalam Muruganantham, who invented a low-cost sanitary pad-making machine and revolutionized cost-effective female hygiene in India.

Viacom saw more wins with its historical epic Bollywood drama Padmaavat, which bagged best music direction for its helmer Sanjay Leela Bhansali, best choreography for Kruti Mahesh Midya and Jyoti Tomar and a best male singer win for Arijit Singh.

The awards are usually announced every year in April but this year the announcement was postponed until after the general elections, which took place in May. As in the past, the awards will be presented at a special ceremony in the capital New Delhi, where India's President Ram Nath Kovind will hand out the prizes. A date for that ceremony is yet to be announced.