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Amitabh, Kangana, SS Rajamouli honoured with National Awards

Amitabh, Kangana, SS Rajamouli honoured with National Awards
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President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday presented the 63rd National Awards, including best actor trophy to Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan, best...

President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday presented the 63rd National Awards, including best actor trophy to Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan, best actress to Kangana Ranaut and Dadasaheb Phalke award to Hindi film veteran Manoj Kumar.

78-year-old Kumar, best known for his patriotic films "Purab Aur Paschim", "Upkar" and "Kranti", became the 47th recipient of the award, the highest recognition in Indian cinema, which consists of a golden lotus, a cash prize of Rs 10 lakh and a shawl.

The wheelchair-bound actor, who was sporting an orange bandana of Sai Baba, also presented the President with a crystal statue of the deity as he received the honour.

Bachchan, accompanied by son Abhishek, daughter-in-law Aishwarya Rai, wife Jaya and daughter Shweta Nanda to the ceremony, won the award for his delightful performance as a hypochondriac father in Shoojit Sircar's family drama "Piku".

He received the Rajat Kamal and Rs 50,000. This is the 73-year-old actor's fourth National award. He previously won in 1990 ("Agneepath"), 2005 ("Black") and 2009 ("Paa").

Ranaut, 29, currently engaged in a bitter legal feud with actor Hrithik Roshan, won the award for her double role in Anand L Rai's romantic comedy drama "Tanu Weds Manu Returns" of a troublesome wife Tanu and Haryanvi sportsperson Datto.

She also received Rajat Kamal and Rs 50,000. It is her third trophy at the National Awards, having earlier won best supporting actress for "Fashion" and best actress for "Queen" last year.

SS Rajamouli and producers Shobu Yarlagadda and Prasad Devineni received Swarna Kamal, cash prize and a certificate for their magnum opus "Baahubali", which was the best feature film this year.

Sanjay Leela Bhansali's historical romance "Bajirao Mastani", starring Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone and Priyanka Chopra, earned him the best director honour besides the film bagging five more awards.

"It is so special. It is the acknowledgment of the government. You are being compared with the best of the nation. And there is a great jury comprising of talented people. It means a lot. It is a very proud moment for me. It is a reward for the twenty years of my hard work," Bhansali said.

The award comprises a Swarna Kamal medallion, a cash prize of Rs 2,50,000 and a certificate.

Superstar Salman Khan-starrer cross-border drama "Bajrangi Bhaijaan" won the best popular film providing wholesome entertainment. "The film is very special to me. The kind of love that the film has got has made the journey so special. And on top of that to get a National Award is amazing. It makes it all more sweeter," director Kabir Khan said.

Complimenting the winners that include newcomers as well as legends of Indian cinema, Mukherjee said the awards this year reflect all aspects of cinema including digitisation and technology.

Jaitley said it was a privilege to see the best of Indian cinema this year. He said people sometimes talk of golden age of cinema and going by the continuous improvement in quality of films, it seems the best is yet to come.

I&B Secretary Ajay Mittal, who also spoke on the occasion, said the government was committed to nurture and promote films as both art and industry in the nation.

A total of 21 awards were given away by the President in the Non-Feature film category while the number of awards in Feature Film category was 51. Three awards were given to Best Writing on Cinema.

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