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MUMBAI – Disney UTV-produced biopic Paan Singh Tomar was the big winner at India’s 60th National Film Awards Monday.
The film picked up the best feature honor and a shared best actor award for its lead Irrfan Khan. Directed by Tigmanshu Dhulia, Tomar tells the life story of a former soldier and athlete who ends up fighting injustice in his village. Disney UTV is Disney’s movie production arm in India.
Khan shared the best actor award with Vikram Gokhale for Anumati. Usha Jadhav won best actress honor for Dhag helmed by Shivaji Lotan Patil who won the best director award.
“We are proud and honored that Paan Singh Tomar has been conferred with the National Award for best feature film and best actor. This is a huge honor for our entire team at Disney UTV, which has worked consistently over the years to bring audiences cinema that is entertaining and thought-provoking,” said Disney UTV Studios managing director Siddharth Roy Kapur.
The annual government awards honor the best of Indian cinema, from mainstream Hindi Bollywood to a variety of regional language cinema. For example, last year’s sleeper Bollywood comedy hit Vicky Donor shared the best popular film award with South Indian film Ustad Hotel. Donor also picked up the best supporting actor prize for Annu Kapoor and best supporting actress for Dolly Ahluwalia, who shared the award with Kalpana for Thanichalla Njan.
Upcoming Bollywood actress Parineeti Chopra received a special mention for her performance in Ishaqzaade.
A special jury award was given to actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui for a breakout year, which saw him in a variety of roles in films such as Kahaani, Gangs Of Wasseypur (which premiered at Cannes), Dekh India Circus and Talaash.
Bengali director Rituparno Ghosh also received a special award for his film Chitrangada.
Thriller Kahaani saw director Sujoy Ghosh win the best original screenplay nod, with the film also bagging a best editing award.
Historical drama Chittagong – directed by NASA scientist-turned-filmmaker Bedabrata Pain – shared the Indira Gandhi Award for Best Debut Film of a Director with 101 Chodiyangal. Hindi film Delhi Safari won the best animation award.
The National Film Awards jury was led this year by veteran filmmaker Basu Chatterjee. The awards will be formally presented at a special ceremony in New Delhi by India’s president Pranab Mukherjee later this year.
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