President confers National Awards on best of Indian cinema

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: The ceremony for the 61st National Awards was held today in the capital on Saturday.

President Pranab Mukherjee honoured the cinematic talent across India, among who veteran lyricist Gulzar received the Dada Saheb Phalke Award for his immense contribution to cinema.

Over 40 awards were given away in the non-feature film category; 40 awards in feature film category; and three awards for best writing on cinema. The ceremony was hosted by actress-singer Raajeshwari Sachdev and news anchor Rini Simon Khanna.

Gulzar, who has contributed to Indian cinema through his writing, lyrics, direction and poetry was accompanied by his daughter Meghna Gulzar, who is also a director in the Indian film industry.

The event was held Saturday at the capital`s Vigyan Bhawan in the presence of Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari and other officials and dignitaries, as well as cinema talent from Bollywood, the southern and Marathi, Bengali and Assamese cinema.

Live performances by Rupankar and Bela Shinde, Sang the songs for which they have received their respective playback singer awards. Rupankar sang `E tumi kemom tumi` from the Bengali film `Jaatishwar`, while Shende crooned `Khura khura` from the Marathi movie `Tuhya Dharma Koncha`.

`Ship of Theseus`directed by Anand Gandhi, received the best feature film award while `Rangbhoomi` won the best non-feature film award.

The Indira Gandhi Award for best debut film of a director was given to Nagraj Manjule for Marathi movie `Fandry`, for which Somnath Avghade won the best child artist award.

Sadhana shared the best child artist honour for Tamil film `Thanga Meengal`.

Rajkummar Rao and Suraj Venjaramoodu shared the award for best actor for their performances in Hindi film `Shahid` and Malayalam film `Perariyathavar`, while actress Geetanjali Thapa has won best actress for Hindi film `Liar`s Dice`.

The audience cheered on as Rajkummar walked up to receive the honour from the president for portraying the real life and late law-abiding lawyer Shahid Azmi, in `Shahid`.

The award for best popular film providing wholesome entertainment has been given to `Bhaag Milkha Bhaag`, a biopic on former athlete Milkha Singh. The movie is directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, who was present at the ceremony to receive the honour.

Team `Jolly LLB` walked away with the award for the best hindi film. Produced by Fox Star Studios, the movie, a comical satire on the country`s legal system, is directed by Subhash Kapoor.

For the Nargis Dutt Award for best feature film on national integration, Tamil film `Thalaimuraigal`, produced by Company Productions and directed by Balu Mahendra, was chosen for the year 2013.

The special jury award was given to Marathi film `Yellow`. Producer Riteish Deshmukh received the honour. Hindi film `Miss Lovely` too was lauded with a special jury award.

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