‘Baahubali’ prevails, Bollywood wins big at National Film Awards

March 28, 2016

A fantasy epic billed as India’s most expensive movie was named the best film of 2015 at the National Awards, while Bollywood swept the acting and directing honours in a rare triumph for the Hindi film industry.

Baahubali

Baahubali

Baahubali“, a Telugu-language film dubbed in Hindi, captured the imagination of audiences across India with its top-notch special effects and grossed nearly $90 million at the global box office. A sequel is in the works.

“So proud to be associated with Baahubali … the national award validation for truly the best film of the year,” producer Karan Johar, one of the film’s distributors, tweeted on Monday as the awards were announced. Unsurprisingly, “Baahubali” also won for best special effects.

Despite missing out on the biggest prize, Bollywood stole the show in the other top categories. Hindi films usually play second fiddle to regional language cinema at the National Film Awards, but took centre stage on Monday.

Amitabh Bachchan, arguably India’s biggest star, was adjudged the best actor for his portrayal of a cantankerous old man obsessed with bowel movements in the film “Piku”.

The jury said Bachchan was awarded his fourth national award for his “delectable, delightful performance as a man who lets himself go at the age of 70.”

Kangana Ranaut picked up the best actress award for her double role in the romance “Tanu Weds Manu Returns”.

Bajirao Mastani

Bajirao Mastani

Sanjay Leela Bhansali, known for his period films and grandiose sets, won the best director prize for the historical romance “Bajirao Mastani“. The film also bagged prizes for choreography, cinematography, production design, sound design and supporting actress for Tanvi Azmi.

Piku” and “Tanu Weds Manu Returns” shared honours for original screenplay and dialogue, while Vishal Bhardwaj won the award for best adapted screenplay for “Talvar”, based on a real-life murder mystery.

Sharat Katariya‘s “Dum Laga Ke Haisha” was adjudged the best Hindi film, while Neeraj Ghaywan won for best directorial debut in “Masaan“, a love story set in Varanasi that charmed Cannes audiences last year.

Salman Khan‘s “Bajrangi Bhaijaan“, India’s biggest box office hit of 2015, bagged the award for best film providing popular entertainment.

The National Film Awards will be presented at a ceremony later this year by President Pranab Mukherjee.

(Editing by Tony Tharakan; Follow Shilpa on Twitter @shilpajay and Tony @TonyTharakan. This article is website-exclusive and cannot be reproduced without permission)

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