South Indian films dominate 2007 NFAs

Legal battle delays awards ceremony for two years

NEW DELHI -- South Indian films dominated the 55th National Film Awards supervised by New Delhi-based government body Directorate of Film Festivals affiliated to India's Information and Broadcasting Ministry.

The NFAs were announced Monday for films released in 2007 as the awards were delayed last year after court cases involving censor certification and alleged rigging delayed the presentations.

Well-known Tamil filmmaker Priyadarshan's “Kanchivaram," a period drama about silk weavers, bagged best movie, while the film's Prakash Raj won best actor, beating heavyweight contendors such as top Bollywood actors Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan.

Umashree won best actress award for her performance in Girish Kasaravalli's Kannada film “Gulabi Talkies” for her portrayal of a wronged woman from a minority community.
Adoor Gopalakrishnan bagged best director for the Malayalam film “Naalu Pennungal” which revolves around gender issues in a conventional society.

But Bollywood had its fair share of glory with Shah Rukh Khan-starrer “Chak De! India” winning the best wholesome entertainment award while Aamir Khan's child dyslexia drama “Taare Zameen Par” won the family welfare category in addition to nods for best song and lyrics.

“Slumdog Millionaire” actor Anil Kapoor's production “Gandhi, My Father” won best screenplay, best supporting actor (Darshan Zariwala, for his portrayal of Gandhi) and a special jury award for producer Kapoor, who will be seen in the new season of “24”.

The Indira Gandhi Award for best first film of a director went to Shivajee Chandrabhushan for “Frozen” which also won best cinematography.

Headed by veteran filmmaker Sai Paranjpye, the 13-member jury considered 102 feature and 106 non-feature films.

A date for the NFA's formal presentation ceremony – which will take place in New Delhi - will be announced shortly.